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

Donald, Heather; McFadyen, Morag C. E.; Boyle, Susanne P.


Heather Donald

Morag C. E. McFadyen

Susanne P. Boyle


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 third-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, which are used in the disease management. The substitutes were provided by SHS-Nutricia and Vitaflo. Group evaluation of the activity was generally positive, with all groups indicating that the learning objectives had been achieved in a setting that promoted collaborative interprofessional working, acquisition of knowledge pertaining to the management of PKU, and a format that 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 lived experience 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, in order to enable consideration of a more holistic approach to the health and social care issues of PKU. Additionally, future developments include the creation of an Articulate quiz activity for student self-evaluation, prior to the event. In conclusion, this initiative addressed the six learning objectives in an interactive manner, receiving positive learner feedback and having a clear strategy for future development.


DONALD, H., MCFADYEN, M.C.E. and BOYLE, S.P. 2013. Development and evaluation of a novel interprofessional learning activity addressing the management of phenylketonuria. Creative education [online], 4(3), pages 189-193. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 7, 2013
Online Publication Date Mar 31, 2013
Publication Date Mar 31, 2013
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2020
Publicly Available Date Feb 14, 2020
Journal Creative education
Print ISSN 2151-4755
Electronic ISSN 2151-4771
Publisher Scientific Research Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 3
Pages 189-193
Keywords Problem-based learning; Interprofessional learning; Health and social care students
Public URL


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