Health care professionals have advocated for educating culturally competent practitioners. Immersion in international experiences has an impact on student cultural competency and interprofessional development. The China Honors Interprofessional Program (CHIP) at a university in the Midwest is designed to increase students' cultural competency and interprofessional development. From 2009 to 2013, a total of 25 professional students including twelve occupational therapy students, ten physical therapy students and three nursing students were enrolled in the programme. Using a one group pre and posttest research design, this study evaluated the impact of CHIP on the participating students. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected in the study. Findings of the study revealed that CHIP has impact on students' cultural competency and professional development including gaining appreciation and understanding of the contributions of other healthcare professionals and knowledge and skills in team work. The findings of the study suggested that international immersion experience such as CHIP is an important way to increase students' cultural competency and interprofessional knowledge and skills. Limitations of the study included the small sample in the study, indirect outcome measures and the possible celling effect of the instruments of the study. Future research studies should include a larger and more representative sample, direct outcome measures such as behaviour observation and more rigorous design such as prospective experimental comparison group design. Future research should also examine the long-term effects of international experience on the professional development of occupational therapy students.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Occupational Therapy