Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene


Purpose: The purpose of this research was to explore the effectiveness of a student-led interprofessional education (IPE) workshop in improving student attitudes and perceptions toward IPE. Students from four health science programs including Dental Hygiene, Communication Sciences and Disorders/Speech and Hearing, Health Services Administration and Occupational Therapy participated in a community service event. Students provided screenings to veteran patients including a health history intake, hearing test, and sleep screening while other students observed.

Methods: Students were asked to attend an orientation, the Vets Day IPE workshop, and a debrief session. This mixed methods approach study utilized the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) to assess students’ attitudes and perceptions toward IPE. The RIPLS (Likert scale) was used as a pre- and post-test to assess changes in students’ scores. The pre-test was administered prior to the IPE workshop. The post- test was administered following the workshop. Qualitative data derived from a debrief session where students answered guided questions in groups regarding their experience through discussion.

Results: Results indicated a statistically significant difference (p<.05) in participants’ attitudes and perceptions toward IPE using the RIPLS. Statistical significance was found within each RIPLS subscale where participants showed a positive change in their readiness for interprofessional learning. Qualitative data revealed positive feedback about the workshop and an improvement in learning about different professions.

Conclusion: The results of this study show a student-led approach to IPE through a community service project is beneficial in improving student attitudes and perceptions of IPE.