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Building Provider-Caregiver Partnerships

Curricula for Medical Students and Residents

Blackie, Michael PhD; Baughman, Kristin R. PhD; Palmisano, Barbara MA; Sanders, Margaret MA, LSW; Sperling, David MD; Scott, Erin MD; Radwany, Steven MD; Drost, Jennifer DO, MPH; Thomas, Jon PhD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002806
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Problem: A disconnect exists between caregivers and health care providers, resulting in fragmented communication, which increases caregiver stress and compromises patient care. Although providers have a responsibility to recognize caregiver burden, they receive scant training on issues important to caregivers.

Approach: From 2014–2017, as part of the Building Caregiver Partnerships Through Interprofessional Education project—a collaborative effort between Northeast Ohio Medical University and Summa Health—the authors developed curricula to foster effective partnerships between health care providers and caregivers by exposing medical students and residents to highly personal caregiving narratives. The curricula center on a short film featuring four families representing diverse caregiving experiences. The authors crafted several discussion guides, case-based learning exercises, structured clinical encounters, team-based simulations, and clinical cases as companion educational tools for the film.

Outcomes: Medical students reported the educational tools piloted to be valuable in broadening their understanding of caregivers’ needs, while residents reported the educational tools piloted to also be valuable in improving their communication and building partnerships with caregivers. Undergraduate and graduate faculty reported finding the pilots valuable.

Next Steps: Future goals include conducting an outcome evaluation, based on ACGME milestones, to identify and examine the clinical outcomes to determine if communication increases and quality of care improves as a result of the project. The authors we would also like to include caregivers in the evaluation. Finally, because caregiving is best addressed from a team approach, the authors would like to pilot the project at other health professions programs.

M. Blackie is associate professor, Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.

K.R. Baughman is associate professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio.

B. Palmisano is assistant professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio.

M. Sanders is associate professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio.

D. Sperling is associate professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio.

E. Scott is attending physician, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

S. Radwany is professor, Departments of Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

J. Drost is geriatric fellowship associate program director, Senior Services, Summa Health, Akron, Ohio.

J. Thomas is professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio.

Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank the families who shared their stories in the film and the members of the interprofessional steering committee who guided the project.

Funding/Support: Funding for the curricula was provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: The study was determined to be program evaluation on November 3, 2014, by the institutional review boards of Northeast Ohio Medical University and Summa Health, and later by each additional hospital’s institutional review board.

Previous presentations: Portions of this program have been presented at the following conferences: Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Conference on Medical Student Education, special topic roundtable discussion, Austin, Texas, February 3, 2018; Association of Prevention Teachers and Researchers Annual Meeting, abstract presentation, Savannah, Georgia, April 5, 2017; Xavier University Conference, presentation, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 29, 2019; Family Medicine Education Conference, workshop, Cleveland, Ohio, November 11, 2017; Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Conference on Medical Student Education, presentation, Phoenix, Arizona, January 30, 2016; American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Annual Assembly, workshop, Chicago, Illinois, March 12, 2016; and 2016 American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting, educational products showcase, Long Beach, California, May 19, 2016.

Correspondence should be addressed to Michael Blackie, Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago, 808 S. Wood St., CME 986, Chicago, IL 60612; e-mail: blackie@uic.edu.

© 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges