Changes in students' perceptions of interdisciplinary practice reaching the older adult through mobile service delivery

Karen S Hayward, Linda Kochniuk, Linda Powell, Teri Peterson
Journal of Allied Health 2005, 34 (4): 192-8
This study examined students' perceptions of interdisciplinary health care practice in a facilitated, community-based practicum experience. Students' perceptions of interdisciplinary practice relative to their own profession and other health disciplines were examined before and after involvement in mobile service delivery to the older adult in a collaborative team approach. The Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale was used to collect data before and after planned and facilitated interdisciplinary experiences of students enrolled in health professional programs (nursing, dietetics, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, health education, social work, and physician assistant). Univariate repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed significant pretest to posttest and discipline effects following the interdisciplinary interaction of students in the practicum experience. Univariate analysis revealed a significant change in students' perceptions of professional competence and autonomy, actual cooperation and resource sharing within and across professions, and understanding of the value and contributions of other professionals from pretest to posttest. The findings support the need for educators to facilitate communication through innovative interdisciplinary clinical opportunities for health professions students to influence perceptions that promote active participation in a team approach to care delivery in an increasingly complex health care system.

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