Skills for Patient- and Family-Centered Care with Diverse Populations: A Flipped Course Supporting Service-Learning

Skills for Patient- and Family-Centered Care with Diverse Populations: A Flipped Course Supporting Service-Learning

Academic Year:
2015 - 2016 (June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016)
Funding Requested:
Project Dates:
Overview of the Project:
Background:This project simultaneously addresses two curricular needs in the UM Dental Hygiene Program: (1) linking academic content on cultural competence to clinical experiences;(2) creating a formal mechanism to "debrief" clinical experiences that take place in diverse underserved communities. Project Goals: Faculty at the School of Dentistry and the School of Social Work will collaborate to develop a Dental Hygiene course on Patient- and Family-Centered Care with Diverse Populations. The course bridges academic knowledge into the clinic by reinforcing evidence-based communication skills and monitoring their application in community placements. It also bridges clinical experiences into the classroom by fostering mindful self-reflection on how one's own background and perspective affect interactions with culturally diverse patients. Project Design: A "flipped" classroom design frees class-time for applying academic knowledge to real world situations and processing complex service-learning experiences in a safe space. National experts will be recruited to record lectures on topics such as health disparities and access to care. The course benefits from cross-pollination of Dental Hygiene and Social Work sensibilities. Scope: In year one, this project will impact senior Dental Hygiene students (26) and the patients they serve. The course will be evaluated and improved, and thereafter offered annually. Evaluation: A pre-course survey will provide baseline data. In addition to completing post-course surveys, students will meet with an outside consultant in focus groups to assess how the course affected their clinical work and professional development. Students will receive a post-graduation survey to determine the extent to which learning is sustained in practice.
Final Report Fields
Project Objectives:

Faculty from the University of Michigan (U-M) Dental Hygiene Program and the U-M School of Social Work collaborated to develop a 2-credit course for senior Dental Hygiene students entitled “Skills for Patient- and Family-Centered Care with Diverse Populations” (SW 503). The project was designed to transform the senior year Dental Hygiene outreach rotation from a free-standing experience to a fully integrated part of the curriculum through two key mechanisms: (1) addressing the preparation students need prior to their clinical outreach rotation by delivering academic content tailored to the populations they will serve, and (2) providing the opportunity to reflect mindfully upon the outreach experience after its conclusion.

Project Achievements:

The project has supported a significant change to the Dental Hygiene curriculum, in that SW 503 has now become a required senior year course. All students who graduate from the Dental Hygiene Program will now have been exposed to concepts such as Social Determinants of Health and Cultural Humility, and will have been given the opportunity to "debrief" critical incidents during their required outreach rotation. Through CRLT-facilitated student focus groups, the instructor gained important information about the course's strengths and weaknesses, and was able to incorporate this feedback into each year's curriculum. In particular, the course has grown less academic and more experiential in nature.

As discussed, SW 503 is now a required course in the Dental Hygiene program. Moreover, course development fostered stronger connections between Dental Hygiene and Social Work Faculty, leading to unexpected opportunities for collaboration. For example, the project lead (Lapidos - Social Work) recently traveled to Japan with another faculty member (Furgeson - Dental Hygiene) to learn from Tokyo Medical and Dental University's efforts to integrate social work into their dental hygiene curriculum. It is hoped that even more integration of social work and oral health will result from this project as collaboration continues.
The project has resulted in a peer-reviewed publication (see Lapidos, A., & Gwozdek, A. (2016). An Interprofessional Approach to Exploring the Social Determinants of Health with Dental Hygiene Students. Journal of Allied Health, 45(3), 43E-47E) as well as two poster presentations at the 2016 and 2017 U-M Health Professions Education Day. The latter poster was co-presented with students in SW 503. The project also resulted in a student-authored article in Access Magazine, which is the American Dental Hygiene Association's publication for practicing dental hygienists (see Pedersen, E. Gaining Skills for Patient and Family-Centered Care with Diverse Populations through a Social Work Course. Access Magazine, July 2016). Finally, the project lead (Lapidos) is an invited speaker for the Fall 2017 South Central District Dental Hygienists' Association Meeting, and will be discussing the course there.