Purpose: Health professions students experience professional socialization during their program of study. Institutions have turned to interprofessional education as a means of preparing students for their role as collaborative health care professionals. This study examines the effect of case-based learning experiences in a shared professional Therapeutic Modalities course on student’s interprofessional role clarity as well as the relationship between interprofessional role clarity and measure of group effectiveness. Methods: 112 students (22 Athletic Training and 90 Physical Therapy) were assigned to one of 18 interprofessional and 18 uniprofessional teams and asked to complete four case-based learning activities. All students completed pre-test, retrospective pre-test, and post-test role clarity/ambiguity scales. Measures of team viability, team member satisfaction, and self-rated output were collected post-intervention. Results: Results suggest the experience of interacting with one another in this course, including during case-based learning activities, may lead to increased knowledge of other’s roles and responsibilities as shown in the retrospective pre-test and post-test role clarity differences. Additionally, role clarity has meaningful relationships with measures of perceived group effectiveness, particularly team viability and self-rated output. Conclusion: We suggest that health professions educators consider incorporating case-based learning activities into existing curricula to introduce other professions’ roles and engage students in teamwork.

Author Bio(s)

Katie Sniffen, MS, ATC is the Clinical Coordinator for Saint Louis University’s Center for Interprofessional Education and Research and adjunct faculty in SLU’s Physical Therapy and Athletic Training Department. Ms. Sniffen is also a first-year doctoral student in Public Health Studies, with a concentration in Health Outcomes Research.

Erick Briggs, MS is a doctoral student in Saint Louis University’s Industrial/Organizational Psychology program. Erick’s research interests include family relationships in the workplace, team processes, high stakes contexts, and cross-cultural management. He also has applied experience in telecommunications, sales, and consulting.

Dr. Leslie Hinyard, PhD, MSW is the Deputy Director and Associate Professor of the Saint Louis University Center for Health Outcomes Research. Her research interests include racial disparities in women with breast cancer and the role of interprofessional collaborative practice in improving care processes and health outcomes.

Dr. Anthony Breitbach, PhD, ATC is the Director of the Athletic Training Program at Saint Louis University. He serves a variety of roles for the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, Interprofessional Education Collaborative Council, American Interprofessional Health Collaborative, and the Journal of Interprofessional Care.





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