Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: There is limited research on the interprofessional relationship between occupational therapists and nurses in pediatric outpatient settings, as well as the understanding nurses have of occupational therapy. Interprofessional collaboration is a key component in pediatric client care, regardless of the setting. Interprofessional collaboration is imperative to ensure that health care teams are efficient and able to provide clients with the highest quality of care (Loy et al., 2015).

Purpose: The purpose of this Capstone is to determine how nursing students perceive occupational therapy in a pediatric setting and to examine their perceptions of the interprofessional relationship. Further, it will determine the effectiveness of a training to educate nursing students about pediatric occupational therapy and interprofessional collaboration and communication. By evaluating pre and post understanding by nursing students about occupational therapy, the importance of interprofessional relationships may be enhanced. Theoretical Framework. The Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Model (ICP) was a guiding framework for this Capstone Project. The competencies of values and ethics, roles, and responsibilities, interprofessional communication, and teams and teamwork are a part of the ICP (IPEC, 2016).

Methods. A quantitative survey design yielded a description and understanding of nursing students’ perceptions and attitudes of occupational therapy and interprofessional communication. The Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) was used pre and post training to examine the readiness of nursing students for interprofessional education, along with additional open-ended questions to yield in-depth understanding of content. Surveys were created using Qualtrics online software. Qualtrics was chosen as it is a user-friendly, web-based tool to conduct survey research.

Results: This study revealed a lack of in-depth knowledge on the role of occupational therapy by nursing students and the need to educate healthcare professionals on interprofessional collaboration and communication. Quantitative analysis of the data obtained in this Capstone revealed that the objectives of the study were largely met. Mean scores for 78.9% of the Likert scale questions improved from the pre to post-test. Based on these findings, the educational module was found to increase knowledge of therapy services, occupational therapy services in pediatrics, and interprofessional collaboration and communication.

Conclusions: Pre-service educational modules are a strategy to impact other profession’s understanding of interpersonal communication and collaboration. Occupational therapy focuses on client-centered care and has a role in being influential in various environments and as a part of team to produce effective patient outcome. Educating other professions on interprofessional collaboration and communication and occupational therapy will improve referrals to occupational therapy, allowing more clients to benefit from skilled intervention and services.

Faculty Mentor

Shirley O'Brien, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Casey Humphrey, OTD, MHA, OTR/L, CBIS, CDRS

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)