ABC's of diabetes education: An interprofessional education model

Anne Wildermuth, Kristen Cook, Megan Timmerman, Carey Wheelhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This interprofessional education (IPE) project with 29 PA, nutrition, and pharmacy students focused on the use of the Alphabet Strategy, a mnemonic containing components of diabetes management, as a tool to properly educate patients with diabetes. We utilized a three-session layout of this interprofessional project. Each session contained information about public health and how public health influences direct patient care; public health content focused on diabetes epidemiology, healthcare literacy, and selecting an appropriate checklist to optimize patient management. Purpose: This IPE event taught and highlighted all four Interprofessional Education Collaborative core competencies: values and ethics, roles and responsibilities, interprofessional communication, and teams and teamwork. It also highlighted two entrustable professional activities, self-efficacy as a team-member and team approach to healthcare. Method: Basic background information on the ABCDE model was provided, but students otherwise educated each other across the three activity sessions. We administered a pre-/post-test on diabetes disease information contained in the alphabet model, public health, and professional practice from the represented professions, which gauged the baseline knowledge and effectiveness of this activity. We administered the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) questionnaire before the first activity and at the conclusion of the three-part series, which gauged attitudes and beliefs about IPE. Additionally, we gathered qualitative data from students on perceptions of the IPE event series and qualitative data from the standardized patients utilized in the third session simulation. Discussion: There was a statistically significant improvement in overall post-test score (p = 0.0004), diabetes knowledge (p = 0.0001), and public health knowledge (p = 0.0017). The three-part IPE series resulted in improvement in diabetes knowledge, public health knowledge, and on 9 of 19 RIPLS questions regarding IPE readiness. While no statistically significant difference in profession specific knowledge questions was identified, there was a non-statistically significant improvement in these items. Conclusions: This project highlights a successful model for interprofessional education on a highly prevalent disease. It significantly improved student knowledge of diabetes and public health. We believe this three-part IPE series format could be used on other clinical topics as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100510
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Education and Practice
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Alphabet strategy
  • Diabetes
  • Dietitian
  • Interprofessional education
  • Patient self-management
  • Pharmacy
  • Physician assistant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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