Date Presented 04/02/2022
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® (ACOTE®) requires OT and OT assistant educational programs to include intraprofessional collaboration activities in their curriculum. We conducted a survey of all the OT and OTA programs in the United States. Results indicate that 21% of OT and OT assistant programs do not include an opportunity for intraprofessional collaboration. This survey also examines the types and length of intraprofessional activities that are offered by OT programs in the United States.
Primary Author and Speaker: Patricia Watford
Additional Authors and Speakers: Sydney Eller, Emma Morris, Olivia Parker, Charlotte Ruble, Natalie Speciale, Jenna Usry
PURPOSE: In the field of occupational therapy (OT), effective intraprofessional collaboration increases the quality of patient care while also reducing costs for patients and healthcare systems (Nardella et al., 2018). In order for occupational therapy education programs to meet Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) standards, programs must incorporate opportunity for intraprofessional collaboration into their curriculum. But according to a previous unpublished survey, only 68% of OT programs in the U.S. include intraprofessional activities (Qualls, 2019). The purpose of this survey is to collect updated information regarding the prevalence and type of intraprofessional interactions available to OT/occupational therapy assistant (OTA) students throughout educational programs in the U.S.
DESIGN: We collected data using a Web-based survey sent via email to all OT and OTA programs in the United States. Responses were obtained from a questionnaire using the software Qualtrics XM Platform (Version 2021). The questionnaire included seven multiple choice questions and one open ended question. All survey information collected was anonymous.
METHOD: OT and OTA Programs in the U.S. were contacted via email to complete an anonymous survey discussing intraprofessional collaboration within curricula. Surveys were distributed using the Qualtrics XM Platform (Version 2021) and were estimated to take less than one minute to complete. Responses were checked for data entry errors and incomplete surveys, then analyzed using measures of frequency, measures of variability, and measures of central tendency. This survey was determined by the Augusta University Institutional Review Board to be not human subjects research.
RESULTS: We received 183 total responses out of 529 surveys sent to OT/OTA programs who had students in their program at the time of the survey. The returned questionnaires revealed that only 79% of OT educational programs included intraprofessional collaboration in their curriculum, despite ACOTE 2018 standards (Nardella et al., 2018). Only 66% of OT/OTA programs had an intraprofessional (OT/OTA) program within 30 miles of their school, revealing that many OT/OTA programs are isolated from each other. Additionally, we found the majority of intraprofessional activities, 51%, are less than one week in length, and 43% of intraprofessional activities were implemented using a case study format.
IMPACT STATEMENT: This survey offers insight into the number of OT and OTA educational programs in the U.S. that provide opportunity for intraprofessional collaboration. This information is important as it reveals 21% of OT/OTA programs need to add intraprofessional activities to their curriculum.
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE). (2018). Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) Standards and Interpretive Guide. https://acoteonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2018-ACOTE-Standards.pdf
Nardella, M., Carson, N., Colucci, C., Corsilles-Sy, C., Hissong, A., & Simmons, D. (2018). Importance of collaborative OT/OTA intraprofessional education in occupational therapy curricula. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72(2), 721241000330. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2018.72S207
Qualls, K. (2019, April). Intraprofessional education in occupational therapy: Survey results. [PowerPoint]. AOTA Annual Conference & Expo, New Orleans, LA, United States. https://www.aota.org/-/media/Corporate/Files/EducationCareers/2019-conference-presentations/Intraprofessional-Education-in-Occupational-Therapy.pdf