Interprofessional service learning activities (ISLAs) benefit students, community partners, and academic programs.1-7 ISLA may help physical therapy programs address multiple accreditation guidelines, prepare students for interprofessional care, and enhance student and patient/client interactions. Since 2014, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Physical Therapy and other health professions departments (occupational therapy, exercise science and nutrition science) partnered with multiple community agencies to conduct an ISLA centered around the I Can Do It, You Can Do It Program (ICDI); a structured community health program where students mentor individuals with disabilities to promote physical activity and healthy eating choices.8This session will discuss learning activities and assignments designed to build students’ confidence in promoting physical activity and healthy eating, build interprofessional skills, and prepare the students to be effective lifestyle mentors.
Methods and/or Description of Project
In 2016, 6 UAB faculty members collaborated to facilitate 140 UAB students (in interprofessional teams) to mentor 95 individuals with disabilities. After receiving preparatory eductional sessions, the students conducted 10 weekly mentoring visits that were supported by interactive communication and feedback from academic faculty. While not part of the formal clinical education coursework, the ISLA provides an additional 12 hours of patient/client interaction and opportunities for important clinical skills such as patient/client communication, education and goal setting. This session will discuss learning activities and assignments designed to build students’ confidence in promoting physical activity and healthy eating, build interprofessional skills, and prepare the students to be effective lifestyle mentors. Emphasis will be on promoting healthy eating; process evaluation indicated that this lifestyle behavior was most challenging to influence.
Students completed pre-and post-experience surveys exploring thier attitudes and beliefs concerning interprofessional education activities, community service activities, and interacting with people with disabilities. Focus groups were also conducted with student mentors to explore their opinions about the ISLA. Key infomant interviews were also conducted with administrators and staff at the community partner organizations. Quantitative and qualitative data concerning learning outcomes will be discussed as well as ISLA process evaluation data. Case studies will also be used to detail the ICDI Program.
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education
Students participating in ISLA were generally positive about the experience. They particularly valued interacting with the mentees with disabilities and collaborating with students from other disciplines. Focus groups and key informant interviews revealed many program successes and opportunities for improvement. This session addresses the thematic area of "Strengthening Clinical Reasoning and Inter-professional Skills During Internships.
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8. US Department of Health and Human Services, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. I Can Do It, You Can Do It, Motivating Individuals with Disabilities to Lead Healthy, Active Lifestyles: Program Manual, 2013.
At the completion of this session, you will be able to:
1. Describe elements of the ICDI program to promote physical activity and healthy eating choices with individuals with disabilities.
2. Discuss how the ICDI ISLA meets multiple accreditation criteria, prepare students for interprofessional care, and enhance student and patient/client interactions.
3. Describe results from the ICDI program as part of an ISLA at UAB; including learning outcomes, participant outcomes, community partner outcomes, case studies, and process evaluation.
4. Identify and utilize strategies/resources to incorporate ICDI or other ISLA in your academic, clinical, and/or community setting.1
Lecture, case studies, small group discussions, question and answer
5 minutes – Welcome, introductions, and session overview.
10 minutes – History, structure and rationale for ICDI.
20 minutes – Elements of the UAB ICDI interprofessional Service Learning Activity.
15 minutes – Outcomes of the UAB ICDI interprofessional Service Learning Activity.
10 minutes – Ways that the ICDI ISLA meets multiple accreditation criteria, prepare students for interprofessional care, and enhance student and patient/client interactions.
10 minutes – Small group discussion concerning ways the ICDI or similar program can be used in other universities, clinics and communities.
10 minutes – Resources available to assist others interested in developing similar programs.
10 minutes – Conclusion; Questions and answers