Development and evaluation of novel interprofessional learning activity addressing the management of phenylketonuria

Donald, Heather and McFadyen, Morag C. E. and Boyle, Susanne P. (2013) Development and evaluation of novel interprofessional learning activity addressing the management of phenylketonuria. Creative Education, 4 (3). pp. 189-193. ISSN 2151-4771 (

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This new initiative across the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at Robert Gordon University focuses around students from the Overseas Pharmacist’s Assessment Programme (OSPAP) and 3rd year Nutrition and Dietetics students working in an interprofessional setting to manage the care of individuals with Phenylketonuria (PKU). A problem based learning approach was employed which involved small group interprofessional working to solve a series of simulated case studies concerned with the management of phenylketonuria. The session was further enhanced by an expert patient narrative and the opportunity to test a series of commercially available low protein/low phenylalanine food substitutes provided by SHS-Nutricia and Vitaflo which are used in the disease management. Group evaluation of the activity was generally positive with all groups indicating that the learning objectives had been achieved in a setting which promoted collaborative interprofessional working, acquisition of knowledge pertaining to the management of PKU and a format which enabled a breadth and depth of material to be covered in a relatively short time. The contributions of the expert patient and availability of test samples enhanced the interactivity of the session and provided a meaningful insight into the real life scenario of PKU patients. Limitations of the session included the rather narrow range of healthcare professional students involved in the activity and the need for better signposting of preparatory reading material. Planned future developments of this initiative aim to involve health visiting, biomedical science and social work students to enable a more holistic approach to the health and social care issues of PKU to be considered and the inclusion of an Articulate quiz activity for student self evaluation pre event. In conclusion this initiative addressed the 6 learning objectives in an interactive manner which received positive learner feedback and the academic team has identified a clear strategy for future development.