Preparing PT and OT Students for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice
Background: Interprofessional education and collaborative practice are recognized as means to reduce medical errors, improve quality of care, improve health outcomes, and manage healthcare costs. Multiprofessional colleges lend themselves to creating opportunities for interprofessional education to develop the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) core competencies and satisfy accreditation standards. The aim of this study was to assess whether Interprofessional Education (IPE) activities increase student perception of their competencies and their actual observed competency in Interprofessional collaboration.
Methodology: This quasi-experimental, single group prospective tested the effect of a series of three interprofessional education (IPE) activities embedded within the curricula for pre-professional occupational and physical therapy students. The activities included: 1) teamwork exercise, 2) simulated community re-integration outing, and 3) video-based case conference. Researchers measured student perception of competency with each IPE activity using the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Survey (ICCAS-Revised). In addition, student behaviors were evaluated during the third IPE activity using the Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric (ICAR-modified).
Results: A cohort of 101 physical and occupational therapy students participated in the IPE curriculum component and completed the ICCAS with each of three IPE activities. Repeated administrations of the ICCAS were compared using Friedman tests and revealed significant changes in the perception of their interprofessional collaborative across all 19 items (𝛸2 = 89.472 - 207.417; p < .001). Descriptive analysis of the ICAR suggests students interacted at an expected level in the subareas of communication, collaboration, roles and responsibilities, and team functioning. A comparison of the physical and occupational therapy students revealed almost identical performance between the disciplines suggesting all students were trained equally in IPE.
Conclusion: Intentional inclusion of IPE activities seems to yield professional growth for both of these rehabilitation disciplines; however the ceiling effect of the ICCAS made it difficult to determine if there was a cumulative effect of the program over the course of the curriculum. The interaction between the professions remained superficial and further progress in this area may need experiences requiring collaboration as opposed to side by side learning.
Longitudinal educational programming requires a measurement scale to capture the full range of continuous professional growth.
Use of virtual technology contributed to the effectiveness of the IPE activity and allowed for authentic collaboration.
IPE activities need distinction in learning objectives related to interprofessional competencies versus clinical skills.
Funding source: This project was funded by Nova Southeastern University’s Health Profession Division Research Grant # 335923.