Students’ responses to a simulated interprofessional education intervention to teach falls prevention

C Williams1,2, D Kiegaldie3, D Nestel2, E Pryor1, R Wotherspoon1, J Kaplonyi1, KA Bowles1,2, S Maloney2, T Haines2

1Peninsula Health, Frankston, VIC
2Monash University, VIC
3Holmesglen Institute, VIC


To determine the impact of simulated inter-professional education (IPE) on students’ falls prevention knowledge, confidence and motivation to undertake a preventive communication intervention.


This study was nested within a cluster, cross-over randomised controlled trial. IPE was undertaken within a 4-hour session with a trained actor patient teaching the Safe Recovery Program.  Three pair-wise comparisons were made, pre versus post-IPE, post-simulation versus post-placement, and post-placement (IPE) versus untrained students. Regression analysis was undertaken to identify differences within each pairwise comparison.


There were 171 (82% female) students trained and 86 untrained students respond to post-placement surveys. Following IPE, students increased falls knowledge(p<0.05) and correctly identified strategies which were/were not supported by evidence except bedrail use(p=0.013) and patient sitters(p=0.004). Students increased confidence about falls communication and role in falls prevention(p<0.05).

Following placement, fewer IPE students correctly identified evidence surrounding bed alarm use(p=0.003). IPE Students were less confident and motivated(p<0.05) to communicate and play a role in falls prevention following placement.

IPE students had better falls knowledge(p<0.05) than untrained students, but no there were knowledge differences in the evidence supporting face-to-face communication(p>0.05). IPE students were more confident to communicate(p<0.001) but not in their role to prevent falls(p>0.005). There were no differences between groups in motivation(p>0.05) however more student without IPE were motivated to support a patient setting goals to reduce risk of falling(p=0.044)

Significance of findings

Simulated IPE may be a useful strategy to teach falls prevention knowledge and communication to students. Placements impacted knowledge, confidence and motivation to use learnings.