The Use of Simulation-based Learning in Building Gerontology Students' Capability in Interprofessional Collaborative Practice
Principal Supervisors

Professor Janita P.C. Chau
(The Nethersole School of Nursing)


1 year and 8 months

Approved Budget

HK $100,000

  • Abstract
  • Brief write-up
  • Video Report


  • The Bachelor of Science in Gerontology Programme is the first UGC-funded gerontology programme in Hong Kong introduced to address population ageing and the associated workforce shortage in elderly health and social care services in Hong Kong.

  • The programme team adopts a positive and reflective approach to make good use of students’ feedback and evaluations to ensure that the teaching and learning strategies are tailored to the needs of students, the aged care profession, and the society.

  • Although experiential learning is emphasised during the gerontological practicum to develop students’ knowledge, skills and attitudes with respect to interprofessional collaboration practice, some students expressed lack of confidence in communicating with older persons, caregivers and agency staff. Students also found coordinating care for older persons with complex care needs challenging and preparing integrated care plans difficult.

  • It was decided that students’ capability in interprofessional collaborative practice needs to be further enhanced as graduates from the programme are expected to demonstrate competency in care coordination, planning of care and teamwork, and take up key roles in coordinating interdisciplinary care within and across health and social care settings.

  • In this project, pedagogical innovation is adopted to develop a strong learner-oriented and student-centered ethos. Simulated interdisciplinary case conferences will be planned and organised to manage older persons with complex life situations and challenges. Case scenarios in community, rehabilitative and residential care settings will be developed to mimic real-life situations.

  • The students will serve as care coordinators and an interdisciplinary care team will be participating in the case conferences. The activities include case presentation, care planning, communicating with older persons, caregivers, and members of the interdisciplinary care team. The simulated case conferences will be video-recorded and uploaded on the blackboard. Critical thinking exercises will be developed to facilitate on-line and classroom discussion among students and tutors.

  • The impact will be evaluated using a pretest and posttest design.

  • This is a unit-level project integrating expertise from various healthcare disciplines including nursing, pharmacy, medicine, and social work. The collaboration between Schools and Departments in the Faculty of Medicine in producing the simulated interdisciplinary case conferences is to facilitate the development of students’ competence and confidence in interdisciplinary team-based care, and hence facilitate the students’ professional development.

Brief write-up

Project objectives
  1. develop a bank of high-quality web-based simulation learning materials related to care coordination, planning of care and teamwork;
  2. develop critical-thinking exercises to achieve the learning outcomes of each simulation learning activity; and
  3. ensure the learning materials are assessable to gerontology students for supervised learning and self-learning and sustain to be used well beyond the term of this grant.

Activities, process and outcomes

Sixteen aged care providers were interviewed to elicit their beliefs about importance of interprofessional collaborative practice. The results informed the development of the teaching materials of the project. Training was offered to all lecturers in the School involved in teaching gerontological and nursing students.

Deliverables and evaluation

Ten video-taped simulated interdisciplinary scenarios and critical-thinking exercises were developed. A pre-test was conducted among all year one gerontological students (n=28) (mean age 20.1 (SD 0.9)). Students’ mean scores ranged from 5.07 (SD 1.12) to 5.50 (SD 0.88) (1=Not at all, 7=To a very great extent) using the 9-item Interprofessional socialization and Valuing Scale. A higher score represents more willing to work in interprofessional relationships.

Dissemination, diffusion, impact and sharing of good practices

Dissemination of the good practice was conducted via presentations in a workshop within the School, in Teaching and Learning Innovation ExPo, and in international conferences.

Video Report

Please click the following link for viewing the report.