Student Poster

Performance Assessment of Doctor of Physical Therapy Students on Interprofessional Collaboration

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Interprofessional Collaborative Practice

Interprofessional education is an essential component of every health care professional’s training.1 Since 2016 when the Commission of Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) added interprofessional education to required elements in Physical Education, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students have been training in this to contribute their own profession’s specialized knowledge as well as be a part of a team that ultimately improves patient outcomes.2 The Interprofessional Professionalism Assessment (IPA)3 has been a tool used to assess DPT students’ competence in this area. Gaps in the literature remain as this research attempts to answer the question of whether or not frequency of communication has an effect on perceptions of DPT students professionalism, as assessed by providers outside of the profession.

Fifty-one Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students from a single university were evaluated by a healthcare worker outside their discipline, using the IPA, during their clinical experiences. Exclusion criteria included intraprofessional evaluators and inconsistencies in quantitative and qualitative responses. The validated IPA tool measures observable behaviors of healthcare professionals among six domains.3 Corresponding questions were rated with a Likert scale from one being strongly disagree to five being strongly agree. Data were quantitatively analyzed using Microsoft Excel© to determine results provided by healthcare providers outside of the DPT profession.. In addition, two qualitative questions gathered information on individual patient interactions and frequency rates of contact during interprofessional communication, using the survey system, Qualtrics©. To analyze the qualitative components, two reviewers independently assessed common themes prevalent in survey responses.

Results revealed a response rate of 53/83 (61.4%). The average score on the IPA (4.72) indicated that the DPT student possessed strong professional skill. While data were limited on the additional questions, frequency of communication between providers did not correlate to an increased agreement of DPT student professional ability. Qualitative responses from respondents found common themes of collaboration, teamwork, professionalism, adaptability, and receptiveness to feedback.

In conclusion, DPT students demonstrate favorable interprofessional collaborations as viewed by other healthcare professionals; however, the research fails to make correlation meet causation, being that the students did not all exhibit the same frequency of communication with additional professionals.