Kentucky: Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky in Lexington

June 18, 2007

A key wellness project of the Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute is the Preservice Health Training Project, funded by the Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities, to provide training to medical, nursing, physician assistant, and dental students in communicating and caring for their patients via an interactive "virtual patient" case study approach. We have completed a set of seven modules, and our effectiveness studies on these modules (measuring both knowledge and attitudinal changes) have appeared in such peer-reviewed journals as the Journal of Dental Education (February 2007), Journal of Physician Education (in press), and Journal of Nursing Education (in press). To date, over 1,000 students have participated in the modules across these various disciplines, and we are preparing to do a study with 450 medical, dental, and nursing students across 15 university programs in Great Britain this summer.

Though we designed these modules for the Preservice level, we have also found that they have strong continuing education merit. To date, Preservice Health Training modules have been accepted for CME credit by the American Dental Association (the dental modules are in final stages of being placed on the ADA's website), American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Osteopathic Association. We are currently working to determine the most effective methods for disseminating these modules for CMEs through these professional organizations.

Finally, the project was recognized by our University's President, Dr. Lee T. Todd, as one of a select set of Commonwealth Collaboratives. Commonwealth Collaborative Projects are designated by the University as those which have the greatest potential to impact the lives of the citizens of our state.