Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Healthcare continues toward team-based approaches in which multiple disciplines collaborate to ensure holistic patient care. National standards for intraprofessional collaboration guide curriculum design for entry-level occupational therapy (OT) and occupational therapy assistant (OTA) programs to ensure students acquire specific skills and knowledge needed for current OT practices. Effective intraprofessional collaboration includes effective communication, respect, trust, and understanding of role delineation, which students prefer to learn in experiential, face-to-face formats. The purpose of this study was to examine OT and OTA students’ perspectives of participating in an educational escape room (EER) as a novel experience for intraprofessional education. Investigators created an EER with a healthcare plot and conducted it at two sites with 76 students, who had 60 minutes to solve puzzles based on OT/OTA knowledge to “escape” the room. Seventy-five students provided feedback on the EER in an online survey. Participants enjoyed working together in the EER, and felt it was a fun way to apply learned skills. They reported that collaboration was a key benefit and that this learning approach made them feel like equal contributors and created a sense of accomplishment. OT educators should consider including novel game-based learning activities such as EERs in their programs and in collaboration with other programs.


Megan Carpenter, OTD is an assistant professor and Doctoral Capstone Coordinator in the Occupational Therapy department at The University of Alabama, Birmingham. She received her MSOT degree from The University of South Alabama in 2007 and post-professional OTD from Quinnipiac University in 2018. Research interests: pediatric feeding and eating; interprofessional education.

Anthony D. Cunningham, MSOT is an Assistant Professor and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator in the Occupational Therapy Department at The University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB). He earned his MSOT degree from UAB in 1998 with a Graduate Certificate in Low Vison Rehabilitation. He is currently pursuing his PhD at UAB.

Laura Smith, MSOT is the Director of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Wallace State Community College (WSCC). She earned her MSOT from UAB in 2005 and is co-chair of the North District for the Alabama Occupational Therapy Association. She is also a Teepa Snow Positive Approach to Care Trainer.

Kelly Krigbaum, BS is Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for Wallace State Community College’s OTA program, earned a BS in Public Safety & Health Administration from Athens State University in 2005 and is a 1999 graduate of Wallace’s OTA program. She is a Teepa Snow Positive Approach to Care Trainer and NBCOT exam development committee member.

Declaration of Interest

This project was funded by a UAB Faculty Development Grant. After the grant, the authors report no other 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.