Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Anne M. Haskins


Interdisciplinary Communication; Interprofessional Relations; Occupational Therapy; Physical Therapy Specialty; Students, Health Occupations


Purpose: The purpose of this research was to explore the relationship between occupational therapy and physical therapy students and practitioners. Historically there has been limited research conducted that pertains specifically to the interprofessional collaboration of occupational and physical therapy students and practitioners. For the purposes of this study the researchers examined the relationships between occupational and physical therapy students, the relationships between practicing occupational therapists and physical therapists, and differences and similarities of their relationships with respect to variables thought to impact interprofessional collaboration.

Methods: A non-experimental survey research design was used to gather and analyze information from the participants. All of the participants completed a demographic survey which sought information pel1aining to variables related to interprofessional collaboration such as time spent with other profession, physical environment of departments, interprofessional education, etc. Students completed the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale, a survey with questions pertaining to their readiness to learn about interprofessional collaboration. Practitioners completed the Index of Interdisciplinary Collaboration, a survey intended to gather information regarding the effectiveness and extent of collaboration between therapists. Six-hundred and thirty-six participants completed the survey and included 305 occupational therapy students COTS), 256 physical therapy students (PTS), 47 occupational therapists, and 28 physical therapists. Following data collection, descriptive and inferential analyses of data were completed.

Conclusions: Relationships were discovered between OTS and PTS readiness for interprofessional learning and gender, time spent with other profession, class size, degree sought, and physical distance between occupational and physical therapy departments. Relationships were also found between the therapists' extent and effectiveness of interprofessional collaboration and age, work experience, time spent with the other profession, and physical distance between occupational and physical therapy offices. Greater readiness for interprofessional learning was demonstrated by OTS when compared to PTS. There was no difference for extent and effectiveness of intel-professional collaboration between occupational and physical therapists.