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INTRODUCTION Interprofessional education is a critical and recommended element in most allied health training programs as it prepares emerging practitioners to work with professionals in other disciplines. The purpose of this study was to examine graduate students’ interprofessional (IP) attitudes and perceived competence prior to and after they participated in a yearlong IP curriculum consisting of both educational and clinical activities. In addition, the study sought to determine if competence was related to the number or perceived value of the educational or clinical activities and if there was a correlation between attitudes and competence.

METHODS Participants were 45 graduate students in speech-language pathology (MS) and clinical psychology (PsyD) who completed self-report questionnaires at three time points during their first year of graduate school.

RESULTS Students participated in an average of 4.8 IP educational and 3.6 IP clinical training activities. Across the year, attitudes toward IP practice remained high. Students reported an increase in their IP competence, particularly associated with participation in clinical, rather than educational, activities. Attitudes and competence were only somewhat related, as students with better attitudes toward teamwork and shared roles reported an increase in competence.

DISCUSSION Students perceived that clinical training has a more positive impact on their knowledge and skills than didactic training; this pattern is consistent with practice guidelines that emphasize the importance of practical training.

CONCLUSION Future research should examine whether particular IP experiences are associated with increases in competence, and whether self-reported competence is associated with IP performance in practice.


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