Research Article  |   July 2019
Occupational Therapy Student Learning on Interprofessional Teams in Geriatric Primary Care
Author Affiliations
  • Ashley D. Halle, OTD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy and Coordinator of Primary Care Residency and Services, Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; halle@chan.usc.edu
  • Carolyn Kaloostian, MD, MPH, is Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
  • Gregory D. Stevens, PhD, MHS, is Associate Professor, Departments of Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Education of OTs and OTAs
Research Article   |   July 2019
Occupational Therapy Student Learning on Interprofessional Teams in Geriatric Primary Care
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 07 2019, Vol. 73, 7305185050p1-7305185050p10. doi:10.5014/ajot.2019.037143
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 07 2019, Vol. 73, 7305185050p1-7305185050p10. doi:10.5014/ajot.2019.037143
Abstract

Importance: Geriatric, interprofessional primary care training for occupational therapy students is needed.

Objective: To measure occupational therapy student–reported knowledge, attitudes, and skills after participation in interprofessional geriatric educational programs.

Design: Prospective, observational study with pre- and posttests for the three programs.

Participants: Fifty-nine entry-level and postprofessional occupational therapy master’s students.

Outcomes and Measures: Self-reported familiarity with other professionals’ roles, perceptions of interprofessional training, capabilities to conduct assessments, and attitudes of older adults.

Results: Students of the three programs (Interprofessional Geriatrics Curriculum [IPGC], Student Senior Partnership Program [SSPP], and Geriatric Assessment Program [GAP]) reported different improvements in familiarity of roles, capabilities of assessment, and Geriatric Attitudes Scale (GAS) scores. For example, IPGC and SSPP students had changes in total GAS score (3.91–4.08, p = .002, and 3.84–3.99, p = .003, respectively), but no change was found for GAP students (3.85–3.91, p = .523).

Conclusions and Relevance: More structured interprofessional education with older adults appeared to help prepare occupational therapy students to work on geriatric interprofessional teams in primary care.

What This Article Adds: This article expands on growing evidence to support occupational therapy’s role in primary care by addressing the need to train future generations to work on interprofessional geriatric primary care teams.