*WINNER* An Interdisciplinary Case Study: Promoting Collaboration Between Undergraduate Nursing and Occupational Therapy Students


  • Katie Howell
  • Hailey Burke
  • Peyton Curtis


Background: Interdisciplinary care is essential to deliver effective, holistic care to patients. Literature suggests that 50% of Americans have a musculoskeletal condition and 90% of rehabilitation patients are discharged. It is vital for occupational therapists (OT) and nurses to understand collaborative roles to achieve optimal patient outcomes.

Purpose: The purpose of this case study is to determine whether participating in the case study event improved undergraduate OT and nursing student’s perception of interprofessional collaborative practice. 

Sample: The undergraduate students of various healthcare majors at Tennessee Technological University were given a case study scenario requiring utilization of effective communication to provide care for a patient in the acute, rehabilitative, and at-home care phases.

Methods: The Interprofessional Education instrument (SPICE-R2) was used to collect data regarding students’ perceptions of interprofessional collaborative practice. The SPICE-R2 (alpha=0.83) is a 10-item self-report questionnaire that uses a 5-point Likert scale. The SPICE-R2 was administered to undergraduate OT and nursing students pre/post case study event (n=50).
Results: The pre/post-study analysis suggests a statistically significant increase in nursing and OT student’s perceptions of interprofessional collaborative practice. 

Recommendation: Our recommendation is continued promotion of clinical opportunities for nursing and OT students to work together to enhance understanding of roles and contributions between different disciplines.

Conclusion: The Case Study Event provided an opportunity for Nursing and OT students to learn about each other’s role in the interdisciplinary team. Furthermore, opportunities for interprofessional students to work together will enhance their understanding of roles and contributions from different disciplines.