Interprofessional collaboration and social responsibility: Utilizing community engagement to assess faculty and student perception

Kirk Peck, Jennifer Furze, Lisa Black, Kathleen Flecky, Andreia Nebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: Educators in post-secondary health professions are increasingly being challenged to inculcate the necessity of social responsibility in students during their formative years. Various methods have been employed to teach social accountability, but further research is needed to identify the most effective technique. One plausible option is to incorporate an interprofessional faculty and student model, in collaboration with community partners, to provide a realistic view of societal dilemmas. The purpose of this study was to explore perceptions from students enrolled in physical and occupational therapy programs, and faculty members, through analysis of post experience reflections on a structured community-based service project. Description: This qualitative study explored student and faculty perceptions about self and service capacity following participation in a communitybased project designed to encourage physical activity, nutritional, and behavioral change in children at risk for obesity. Data were collected from survey responses and focus groups utilizing open ended questions about service perspectives. Aggregate data from all participants were analyzed to derive thematic relationships. Outcomes: Results from this study revealed that participation in a community engagement experience had a positive impact in relation to personal perceptions about service and individual commitment to addressing future social concerns. In addition, participants expressed distinct recognition of value to incorporate an interprofessional model of communication and collaboration as a way to instill an internal desire to provide service to others. Discussion: Results from this study suggest that incorporating community-based service activities utilizing an interprofessional model is an effective way to instill the value of recognizing and acting upon situations of social injustice. Interprofessional role modeling was found to be particularly significant to student learning, especially when intentions were to develop a cognitive awareness of professional identity and social obligation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-221
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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