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BACKGROUND: Interprofessional education (IPE) improves collaboration and patient care through joint education between health professions. Respiratory therapy (RT) faculty were surveyed to evaluate their knowledge and attitudes toward IPE. We report current opportunities for IPE from faculty and compare responses from associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs and profit versus nonprofit institutions.
METHODS: We developed an online survey based on IPE literature and questions modified for the RT discipline. The survey was distributed by email to 874 faculty from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care accredited programs.
RESULTS: The response rate was 33%. Faculty identified IPE as an important component of RT education (n = 207, 80%) but reported challenges in integrating IPE into current curriculum. Overall, communication was ranked as the most important IPE competency (n = 104, 39%) and ethics least important (n = 131, 49%). When asked how many credit hours are required to teach IPE, 48% of respondents reported that they were unsure of an appropriate time requirement. Significant differences between associate's and bachelor's/master's degree program faculty were found on the following topics: institutional resources needed for IPE (P < .001), faculty availability (P < .001), curriculum availability for IPE (P = .02), and importance of including IPE at academic health center campuses (P < .001).
CONCLUSION: IPE is recognized as an important component of RT education by all faculty respondents. However, significant differences in knowledge and attitudes toward IPE exist between faculty in associate's versus bachelor's/master's degree programs. Revisiting the current accreditation standards program may allow IPE to take a more prominent role in RT curricula.
- Correspondence: Marlo M Vernon MPH, College of Allied Health Sciences, Augusta University, 987 St. Sebastian Way, EC-3404, Augusta, Georgia 30912. E-mail: .
The authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest.
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