Teaching handover in undergraduate education: an evidence-based multi-disciplinary approach

Gordon, Morris orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1216-5158, Grafton-Clarke, Ciaran and Hill, Elaine Alais susannna orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4984-9446 (2019) Teaching handover in undergraduate education: an evidence-based multi-disciplinary approach. MedEdPublish, 8 (2). pp. 1-15.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.15694/mep.2019.000100.1


Poor standards of handover threaten patient safety and continuity of care, contributing significantly to morbidity and
mortality. Handover practices has risen to the forefront of the patient safety agenda, with a call to develop and
implement undergraduate handover modules into undergraduate healthcare education. Recent systematic reviews
demonstrate a common failure of educational interventions to demonstrate a theoretical and pedagogical framework
underpinning the delivery of education and method of assessment.

The authors developed and piloted a multi-disciplinary evidence-based undergraduate handover training program to
health care students studying at a UK university. The intervention was designed based on underpinning educational
theories. It has been developed in a manner that supports dissemination and replication, with a model that is cost

The intervention was designed to assess learner reaction, attitudes and confidence, and knowledge and skills. This
was achieved through a pre- and post-intervention attitude questionnaire, and an externally validated pre- and postintervention
knowledge assessment.

46 undergraduate students participated, with a statistically significant increase in self-reported attitudes (p < 0.001)
and knowledge (p < 0.001) following the handover intervention. Students participated from the disciplines of
medicine, adult nursing, pharmacy, mental health nursing, paramedic practice and operating department practioners.

This intervention serves as a significant resource for those looking to develop local interventions and stands as a
truly multi-disciplinary approach to handover education, mirroring the clinical reality. The introduction of this
handover intervention immediately improves the attitudes, knowledge and skills of undergraduate healthcare
students. Future work should sample beyond the selected 6 professions, investigating the transference of outcomes
to the workplace, as well as the impact on patient safety.

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