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Keywords

attitudes, attitudes toward poverty, interprofessional education, poverty education, service learning

 

Authors

  1. Tillman, Paula DNP, RN, CPHIMS
  2. Thomas, McKinley MEd, EdD
  3. Buelow, Janet R. PhD

Abstract

Background: Patient-centered care necessitates an appreciation of one's socioeconomic status and its influence on health and well-being.

 

Purpose: We explored how student attitudes toward poverty changed as a result of participation in an interprofessional service-learning experience.

 

Methods: Students from 6 health profession programs participated in an interprofessional military-sponsored free health care event serving nearly 8000 individuals from our community. Students' pre-post attitudes toward poverty were measured using the Attitude Toward Poverty Short Form (ATP-SF) and Beliefs About the Relationship Between Poverty and Health (BRPH) scale.

 

Results: Two subscales and 14 items on the ATP-SF and 3 items on the BRPH had significant differences between their pre and post experience. Students expressed less bias, a decrease in stereotypic views, and a heightened willingness to advocate on behalf of those with limited means of support.

 

Conclusion: Findings suggest that experiential, transformative service learning has a positive impact on students' attitudes toward poverty and the underserved.