Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


To address accreditation standards for health and wellbeing within entry-level occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) programs, the OT, PT, and Human Studies Departments at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) collaborated with community partners to conduct an interdisciplinary service learning activity based on the I Can Do It, You Can Do It Program (ICDI). This program is a structured community health program where individuals without disabilities are partnered with individuals with disabilities to enhance physical activity, healthy eating, and community participation. The purpose of this paper is to describe a formative evaluation of ICDI at UAB, and to discuss revisions to the program made as a result of the evaluation. Faculty used a qualitative design to collect feedback on perceived benefits and challenges of the program. Focus groups were conducted with students who completed the program, and key informant interviews were conducted with site coordinators from each of the three partnering community sites. Two themes emerged from student focus groups: (1) Program benefits, with sub-themes of hands-on application and interaction, and (2) Challenges with suggestions for change, with sub-themes of preparation, communication, and expectations. Four themes emerged from key informant interviews: (1) Students, (2) Logistics, (3) Program benefits, and (4) Transference. Results of this evaluation led to a number of revisions for the 2016 cohort. Future evaluations will include objective measures of change in student knowledge over time, as well as health and behavioral outcomes of community members who participated in the ICDI program at UAB.


Brooks C. Wingo, PhD is an assistant professor at UAB. Her research interests relate to lifestyle interventions for obesity among people with physical disabilities. She teaches courses in health, well-being, and behavior change interventions in the entry-level MSOT program and the PhD in Rehabilitation Science.

Donald Lein, PT, PhD is an assistant professor and Director of Clinical Education at UAB. His research interests include osteoporosis care and prevention and physical therapists' practice of health literacy and health promotion in clinical practice. He teaches coursework in functional anatomy, physical modalities, musculoskeletal interventions, and health promotion.

Beth Barstow, PhD, OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA is an associate professor at UAB. Her research efforts focus on understanding the occupational limitations and needs of older adults with age-related eye disease especially as it relates to health and wellness. She teaches low vision rehabilitation and qualitative research methods.

Chris Eidson, MS, OTR/L is an assistant professor at UAB. He teaches coursework in the areas of biomechanics, therapeutic skills, and health and wellbeing in the entry level MSOT program. His research interests focus on the scholarship of teaching.

Tara Pearce, PT, DHS is an assistant professor and Associate Director of Clinical Education at UAB. In addition to clinical education responsibilities, she teaches coursework related to neurological physical therapy, professional practice issues, and examination strategies in the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Laurie A. Malone, PhD is an assistant professor at UAB. Her research utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to examine the impact of physical activity and sport on the lives of persons with disability across the lifespan. She teaches adapted physical activity and kinesiology in the UAB Department of Human Studies.

David Morris, PT, PhD, FAPTA is Professor and Chair in the Department of Physical Therapy at UAB. He teaches coursework related to professional practice issues, neurorehabilitation strategies, and physical therapists' role in health promotion and wellness in the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy and PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.