Perceptions of clinical training in biopsychosocial treatment of pediatric functional abdominal pain: A survey of medical students

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Objective: The Institute of Medicine has called for greater integration of behavioral sciences in health care. Examining medical students’ exposure to and perceptions of a biopsychosocial approach to treating pediatric functional gastrointestinal disorders associated with pain (FGIDs-AP) may identify roles for pediatric psychologists. This study examined medical students’ educational and clinical experiences with an interprofessional approach to conceptualizing and treating FGIDs-AP, barriers to interprofessional collaboration, and perceptions of the value of interprofessional collaboration. Methods: Seventy-two students from a Midwestern medical school who completed a pediatric medicine rotation participated. Participants provided demographic and training information and completed the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale and the Pediatric Recurrent Abdominal Pain Practice Survey: Student Version via online survey. The latter assessed didactic and training experiences in the biopsychosocial conceptualization of pediatric FGIDs-AP; clinical assessment and treatment practices for these conditions; and perceived barriers to interprofessional collaboration. Results: Although 71% of participants received education in the biopsychosocial model of pediatric FGIDs-AP, only 21% applied the model clinically and only 3% indicated regularly collaborating with psychologists. Barriers to interprofessional collaboration included time limitations, lack of family interest in psychology involvement, and limited access to psychologists. Participants with more favorable attitudes toward interprofessionalism rated collaboration as more helpful. Conclusions: Pediatric psychologists are uniquely qualified to provide training in the application of the biopsychosocial model in the treatment of pediatric FGIDs-AP and other conditions. Ongoing efforts to involve pediatric psychologists in medical student training could improve implementation of interprofessional care and enhance patient outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

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Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology





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