Introduction: Health professional students may commonly encounter cognitive dissonance when they leave university and enter clinical placement. The primary aim was to understand if education and placement impact health professional student's knowledge of falls prevention evidence base. Theoretical Framework: The research design was a repeated-measure, pre-post workshop intervention, followed postplacement, intervention design. It was nested within a cluster, cross-over randomized controlled trial, and utilized data only from intervention group participants from the broader trial who were exposed to the education intervention. Methods: This was a repeated measures design. Health professional students attended a simulation-based workshop about falls prevention strategies. Students were surveyed at three time points, pre- and postworkshop, and postplacement. Evidence supporting falls prevention strategies education was provided. Strategies were grouped into those strategies with evidence of them preventing falls, those with no evidence of preventing falls, or those that have not been tested rigorously therefore have inconclusive evidence in preventing falls. Data were analyzed with multilevel mixed-effects generalized linear model and logistic regression analyses. Results: There were 171 (82% female) students recruited. Following simulation-based education, students demonstrated a knowledge change (p < .05) for all strategies. Following placement, students demonstrated a knowledge shift, with more students reporting there being evidence for strategies having evidence supporting their use (i.e., Bed/chair alarms and low-low beds) (p = .003), and those strategies with an absence of evidence supporting use (i.e., Patient sitters or Bed rails) (p = .02). Students reported less support for strategies with no or an absence of evidence in prevention of falls (p < .05) following the workshop. However, students shifted their support of these strategies following placement, with more students supporting strategies with no evidence (p = .002). Conclusions: This research highlights that students can be rapidly taught evidence supporting health care interventions. Placement can then influence and even change students’ beliefs, or perceptions of common health care interventions.
- Cognitive dissonance
- Falls prevention