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INTRODUCTION Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) simulation is an innovative teaching methodology to demonstrate the obstacles and challenges of poverty that contribute to those risks. The aim of the study was to evaluate the change in attitudes regarding people living in poverty among interprofessional health science students. METHODS Medicine, nursing, pharmacy and rehabilitation therapy students in the 2018 Interprofessional Education class (N=100) were enrolled. Interprofessional student teams were assigned family roles, given limited resources and simulated poverty challenges such as unemployment, childcare concerns, limited access to healthy food, and incarceration. A pre- and post-simulation survey measured changes in participants’ poverty awareness consisting of three domains - identifying barriers to poverty, confidence in one’s ability to address poverty, and likelihood to engage in behaviors to address poverty. The post survey also included questions on insights gained and recognition of organizational systems that perpetuate poverty. Statistical analysis including descriptive statistics and paired t-tests were conducted in SPSS-v23. RESULTS The confidence in ability domain that included understanding obstacles, identifying key issues and having impact showed a significant difference between pre-test (M=8.63, SD= 1.71) and post-test (M=9.31, SD=1.90). However, no significant change was reported for identifying barriers and likelihood to engage in behaviors to address poverty. Additionally, in post-survey, more than 90% students reported increased mindfulness of poverty, self-reflection, and recognize that organizational systems create and perpetuate poverty. CONCLUSION Poverty immersive simulation experience is an essential education tool, as it motivates critical self-reflection and improves one’s confidence to engage in addressing poverty.

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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