Poster Session
Issue Date: July 2015
Published Online: July 01, 2015
Updated: April 30, 2020
Learning to Work Together: Strategies for Integrating Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Into MSOT Curriculum
Author Affiliations
  • Saginaw Valley State University
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Multidisciplinary Practice / Health Services Research and Education
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Learning to Work Together: Strategies for Integrating Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Into MSOT Curriculum
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911510041.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911510041.

Date Presented 4/16/2015

Interprofessional collaborative practice is vital for the provision of high-quality patient care. In this presentation, information regarding the infusion of interprofessional education into one graduate-level occupational therapy program, as well as its impact on students, is provided.

SIGNIFICANCE: This presentation provides guidance for other programs considering integrating interprofessional education (IPE) activities into their curriculum.
INNOVATION: The proposed activities have been demonstrated to have measurable impact on the development of interprofessional collaboration core capacities for Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) students.
APPROACH: The objective of this study is to describe practical implementations of IPE activities in one MSOT curriculum and its impact on core interprofessional collaborative practice (ICP) competencies.
RATIONALE/BACKGROUND: ICP is vital for the provision of high-quality patient care. Thoughtfully designed educational programs can help health-profession students develop interprofessional competencies and capacities, including values and ethics, roles and responsibilities, interprofessional communication, and teamwork (Interprofessional Education Collaborative [IPEC] class = “A5”; IPEC, 2011).
METHOD: ICP activities involved MSOT, nursing, health science, social work, athletic training, and exercise science students at one university in the midwestern United States. Four specific activities that included interaction and collaboration with students from various programs in the College of Health and Human Services were integrated into the curriculum as follows: (1) First-year occupational therapy graduate students participated in round-table case study discussions to communicate their roles in the care of patients with different medical and psychosocial conditions to other health care students. (2) Second-year occupational therapy students participated in four ICP simulations, during which they partnered with community agencies and students from other disciplines. Simulation included case scenarios such as stroke, in-home care, acute hospital settings, a poverty simulation, and a disaster response simulation. Each simulation allowed students to identify professional roles, practice teamwork, and improve collaboration. (3) All students participated in a college-wide student research showcase, displaying scholarly projects from their various disciplines. This provided exposure to the use of evidence-based practice in other health care professions. (4) Occupational therapy students engaged in a case conference focusing on the development of leadership skills, ethical conduct, and teamwork within an interprofessional team.
A mixed-methods approach was used to assess occupational therapy student development of ICP competencies, attitudes, and perception of learning. Quantitative data were collected using the Interdisciplinary Team Concepts Questionnaire (ITCQ) and the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS). Qualitative data were gathered during faculty-focused and student-focused debriefing and guided reflection sessions. Researcher-designed postactivity surveys collected both qualitative and quantitative data.
RESULTS: Results demonstrate significant learning gains as measured by both the ITCQ and RIPLS. Students found IPE activities to be meaningful learning experiences leading to positive changes in overall attitudes and perceptions of ICP. Faculty reported that the IPE activities facilitated development of core interprofessional competencies.
CONCLUSION: This study involved only one graduate-level occupational therapy program. Data regarding the long-term impact of these IPE experiences on students’ development of core ICP capacities, and performance as clinicians in the field, are not yet available. Results suggest that IPE experiences support the development of core ICP capacities and provide significant benefits to occupational therapy students. Continued implementation and evaluation of such programs for graduate-level occupational therapy students is recommended.
Interprofessional Education Collaborative. (2011, May). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: Report of an expert panel. Retrieved from