Poster Session
Issue Date: July 2015
Published Online: July 01, 2015
Updated: April 30, 2020
Older Adult Perceptions of the Quality of Student Teams in a Primary Care Interprofessional Teaching Clinic
Author Affiliations
  • Brookdale Senior Living, Salina, Kansas
  • Community America Credit Union, Kansas City, Missouri
  • University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Health Services Research and Education
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Older Adult Perceptions of the Quality of Student Teams in a Primary Care Interprofessional Teaching Clinic
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911510214.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911510214.

Date Presented 4/18/2015

Understanding client perceptions of interprofessional (IP) student teams in a primary care setting informs occupational therapy clinicians and educators about whether clients desire the IP model in meeting their primary care needs. The majority of participants viewed the student-led IP clinic visits positively.

SIGNIFICANCE: The aim of this research is to provide new evidence regarding client perceptions of student teamwork and care during an interprofessional (IP) teaching clinic. The field of occupational therapy recognizes that clients with complex medical concerns benefit from comprehensive, IP care. Students need practical IP collaborative experiences to prepare them for future IP practice. New knowledge about clients’ perceptions of IP care may support training of students in practical IP teams.
INNOVATION: A recent shift in health care delivery is the IP team approach. IP collaboration occurs when various health care professionals and clients and/or caregivers work together to improve a client’s overall health. Studies have reported that clients find IP health care teams to be beneficial. Few studies have considered client perceptions of care when student IP teams are involved. In addition, occupational therapy is now beginning to be considered in primary care IP teams, whereas, historically, occupational therapy has been included after a hospitalization or health care need is identified. This study offers new knowledge about how clients perceive teamwork and the quality of care when IP student teams including occupational therapy students are involved in primary care.
APPROACH: In this study, we set out to answer the following research questions: Do clients feel like IP students work as a team to provide quality care? Does the team effectively communicate with each other? Furthermore, is the client satisfied with the IP student team visit?
The rationale for this study is that new knowledge is needed to understand how clients feel about care from an IP student team and whether students can train to work in IP teams while providing client care. Results from this survey inform training of future health care professionals and whether clients value this IP model in meeting their primary care needs.
METHOD: From October 2013 to February 2014, older adults (aged >59 yr) attending a primary care visit in a geriatric IP teaching clinic were invited to complete a survey near the end of the appointment. Patients unable to fill out surveys, such as those with dementia, had family members and/or caregivers complete it in the clinic. The survey, developed by the professional clinical team, consisted of 16 statements with responses of “agree” or “disagree” and an open-ended comment section. The survey items were intended to address the teamwork competency of IP education or to address how clients felt about the care they received during the IP student team visit. We calculated frequencies for categorical data and reviewed the comments as they pertained to the categorical data. The survey was completed by 54 participants.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Respondents unanimously agreed with nine statements regarding team behaviors and communication, and a majority of respondents (82%) agreed that they preferred the IP team visit to a regular doctor’s visit. However, 25% agreed that the team used too many medical terms, and 36% were unaware of the IP visit prior to their appointment. Overall, the results from the surveys indicate that most participants were satisfied with the IP student team visit and agreed that the students communicated and worked well as a team (e.g., introduced themselves, made good eye contact, listened, clearly communicated with the family). Results suggest improvements can be made in terms of providing advanced notice regarding the IP team visit and reduced use of jargon.