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To understand the experiences of persons who participated in interprofessional research projects during clinical training.
This qualitative descriptive study utilized a single 60 to 90-minute semi-structured interview.
The study took place in a virtual environment, using video conferencing software.
To be included, participants had to be graduates from a health professional program in the United States in the last 5 years, be currently engaged in clinical practice or clinical research, have spent at least 3 months as a research assistant for an interprofessional research project involving at least one student from another discipline, and speak English. Eight people participated in the study. Five participants were speech-language pathologists, and the other three were occupational therapists. Current practice areas included hospital-based practice, outpatient services, and school-based services.
Main Outcome Measures
A semi-structured interview guide created by the research team, informed by the literature around interprofessional education experiences, was used for data collection. Photo elicitation was also used during the interview by asking participants to bring in images that described their research experience. Participants completed the Interprofessional Attitudes Scale (IPAS) and eight demographic questions before the interview.
Initial analysis from the qualitative interviews demonstrates that participants utilize skills gained during their interprofessional research experience in ways that directly impact their current professional practice. These skills currently utilized include: 1) learning about professional roles, 2) teaching others outside their discipline, and 3) developing personal confidence. Participants also emphasized the importance of interprofessional experiences as mind-opening experiences and integral to healthcare professions.
Students having a prolonged experience working with another discipline as part of clinical training in the form of a research project promoted personal and professional growth. These initial findings illustrate the possibility for mentored interprofessional research to act as a valuable interprofessional education opportunity.
Both Dr. Donoso Brown and Dr. Wallace work for the institution providing the funding for this project. Dr. Wallace is co-chair of the University IPE committee. Ms. McHugh was paid on the grant for this project.
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