Making interdisciplinary education effective for rehabilitation students

J Allied Health. Summer 1994;23(3):133-41.


Interdisciplinary education has been recommended as a way of preparing students for team practice after graduation. There is debate in the literature over the best way to implement interdisciplinary education sessions, and many factors can influence their effectiveness. This paper is a case description report of a pilot project developed to promote interdisciplinary learning. The Northern Studies Stream of McMaster University's School of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy in Ontario, Canada developed a project that combined students from the occupational therapy and physiotherapy programs for small group tutorials held during clinical placements. The project incorporated suggestions from the literature in order to encourage cooperation and interdisciplinary learning. Participants were mature, second-degree students with similar levels of clinical experience. The sessions were a required part of the academic course, but were ungraded. Tutorials focused on issues relevant to clinical practice for both groups and were facilitated by faculty from both professions. Evaluation was positive, suggesting student characteristics (eg, level of experience and maturity) and session design features that may be helpful in planning future interdisciplinary education experiences.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Occupational Therapy / education*
  • Ontario
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / education*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation