Leveraging E-Learning and Community Assets to "TEACH" Residents to Address Child Poverty

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Academic pediatrics


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of a multimodal child poverty curriculum for pediatric residents. METHODS: The Trainee Education in Advocacy and Community Health (TEACH) curriculum trains residents to recognize and address the effects of child poverty, utilizing learning objectives modified from the US Child Poverty Curriculum, new interactive web-based modules, experiential learning, and reflection. This mixed-methods evaluation of the first component, "Epidemiology of Child Poverty," includes nearly 2 years of resident participation. Pre/post knowledge and attitudes regarding child poverty were assessed. Behavior change was evaluated in a subset of participants using an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), comparing intervention and control groups of residents. Residents' experience with the curriculum was assessed using qualitative analysis of debrief sessions with faculty. RESULTS: Fifty-two residents completed the curriculum between June 2018 and March 2020. Residents increased in knowledge (P < .001) and confidence (P < .0001) in recognizing and addressing poverty. They also self-reported greater preparedness (P < .001) and effectiveness (P < .001) in addressing social determinants of health. Early data from the OSCE have not shown a statistically significant change in skills compared with a control group. Qualitative themes included an increase in empathy for, understanding of, and responsibility to address the effects of poverty in caring for patients. CONCLUSIONS: The multimodal "Epidemiology of Child Poverty" portion of the TEACH curriculum increased resident knowledge, confidence, and empathy. Given the ubiquitous nature of poverty and the generalizability of the online modules, the TEACH curriculum can be a resource for other residency programs.