Purpose: Interprofessional collaboration is recognized as a healthcare practice paradigm that may decrease overall costs and minimize errors. Yet it remains common for practitioners to provide care within silos, inadequately considering the impact of their decisions on other providers and overall costs, which ultimately may negatively impact the patient. Integrating interprofessional collaboration in school curricula can establish the importance of this approach to healthcare. For optimal efficacy, every professional in the healthcare team must recognize their unique role and the roles of others, to allow for seamless interprofessional collaboration. Simulation is a teaching tool that provides students with the opportunity to experience and reflect upon their responses to real-world clinical encounters in an environment that is safe to them and to patients. The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the effect of interprofessional simulation on occupational therapy and physical therapy students’ role clarity and perceived readiness for collaborative practice. Method: A mixed methods study design was used with occupational and physical therapy students matriculated in the same college. Two surveys were given to the participants pre- and post-interprofessional simulation: the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS; evaluates student readiness for interprofessional learning) and the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS; evaluates student perceptions of interprofessional training). Focus groups followed the interprofessional simulation to explore the subjects’ experience. Results: Statistically significant changes were noted in the RIPLS pre-post simulation. Five themes emerged from the focus groups including: students value simulation; students value interprofessional education; interprofessional experience facilitates an understanding of role clarity; teamwork has value and challenges; and, students value providing patient centered care. Conclusion: Simulation is a teaching resource that may prepare occupational therapy and physical therapy students for interprofessional collaboration in patient care. The results of this study can inform interprofessional curricular development for both occupational therapy and physical therapy programs.
This study was funded by the Presidential Research Development Grant, Touro College, New York, NY.
Weiner SS, Hagan L, Kardachi JF. A Pilot Study Exploring the Impact of Interprofessional Simulation on Role Clarity and Student Readiness for Collaborative Clinical Practice. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2020 Oct 12;18(4), Article 18.