Purpose: Interprofessional education (IPE) engages health care professional students in order to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required of a health care practitioner. IPE can be challenging to execute; however, exposing students early in their professional education in IPE has positive results. Occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) are health care professions who commonly work with each other. The purpose of this study is to describe the process and outcomes of implementing an IPE experience with first year doctoral OT (OTD) and PT (DPT) students completed within the first six weeks of the first semester of their respective programs. Methods: Ninety-one (31 OTD, 60 DPT) students were placed in small groups and discussed professional identities and interprofessional collaboration among OT/PT during pre-professional observations. Students completed the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) pre-post-meeting and a written reflection post-meeting. Results: Ninety-one students completed the Pre-RIPLS survey, while only 58 Post-RIPLS were completed (13 OTD, 45 DPT). The response rate was 63.7% overall (41.9% OT and 75% PT). A statistically significant difference was found between pre- to post-test RIPLS score among the entire group (p = 0.013), and the DPT students (p = 0.020), but not the OTD students (p = 0.414). Written reflections included the following themes: influence of personal experiences leading to choice of profession, observations shaping knowledge of the professions, similarities and differences between the two professions, and future collaboration. Conclusion: An IPE activity can be implemented early in the professional education of OTD/DPT students with positive results.
Trojanowski S, Woodworth J, Wiencek A, Yorke A. An Introduction to Interprofessional Education for First Semester Doctoral Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Students. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2021 Jan 01;19(2), Article 9.