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Abstract

Purpose: Interprofessional education (IPE) improves patient outcomes and health care by use of appropriate communication. Personality factors may affect communication in interprofessional collaborations. The purposes of this study were to identify common Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality types of entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy students along with gender difference and to make recommendations as to how the MBTI® assessment can used to help develop the interprofessional communication competency domain among student physical therapists. Method: Thirty-two entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy students in the first semester of their third year of study completed the paper based, MBTI® Form M Self-Scorable. Results: Most personality types were represented; the most common were ISTJ (n=5) and ENFJ (n=4). Significant gender differences were found in the Introversion/Extraversion and the Thinking/Feeling dichotomies, but no differences were found related to age. Conclusions and Recommendations: The MBTI® may be an effective tool for students to engage in self-evaluation and improve awareness of how personality types may influence communication and teamwork in IPE activities, thereby incorporating this into deliberate behavioral changes. Recommendations for integrating these findings into classroom teaching styles includes: 1) fostering tools and techniques for communication in interprofessional teams 2) deliberate practice in provider–patient interactions, and 3) self-reflection and practice.

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Laura Smith is an Assistant Professor and is the Associate Director for Post-Professional Clinical Professional Development at the University of Michigan-Flint. She has extensive teaching experience in entry-level and post-professional education. Her research interests are in musculoskeletal performance measures and interprofessional education/practice.

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