Whole person health: Using experiential learning and the ICF model as a tool for introductory interprofessional collaborative practice

Audrey M. Johnson, Leslie N. Woltenberg, Susanna H. Heinss, Ramona Carper, Stacy Taylor, Janice Kuperstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The International Classification of Functioning (ICF) model is recommended for interprofessional use to define, measure, and create health and disability policy. Our goal was to expand a uniprofessional student learning experience into an interprofessional experiential clinical learning experience focused on the ICF model. Methods: An experiential interprofessional education program was developed for Physical Therapy (PT), Physician Assistant (PA), and Pharmacy students. Student teams interviewed a community mentor from a senior living community outside of class to explore their mentor's health journey, assess quality of life, and perform an environmental safety assessment. In this pilot study, students completed an anonymous, unique-identifier electronic survey with open response items pre- and post-experience. Data were coded using inductive thematic analysis. Results: Four themes emerged: learning about other professions (scope of practice), mentor's experiences with health care, treating the whole person, and improving team effectiveness. All four Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) competencies mapped to the data broadly indicating this learning experience meets interprofessional educational requirements. Conclusions: Student teams deepened their understanding of their community mentor's health and valued the interprofessional knowledge gained. Using the common lens of the ICF, students' understanding and appreciation of other disciplines emerged and students began to see their mentors from a more holistic perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Allied Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This exploratory case study employed a purposive sampling method to explore pre/post-experience qualitative data from an interprofessional experiential activity. Sixty-eight graduate/professional students voluntarily participated in this 2-year study from August 2017 to December 2017 and from August 2018 to December 2018 (Table 1). Participating students represented three health professional programs: Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies, and Pharmacy. Participants volunteered to participate in the experience and were placed into interprofessional small groups of 4 to 6 students. The experience was supported by five faculty facilitators and one research assistant (henceforth

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Assoc. of Schools Advancing Health Professions, Wash., DC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Whole person health: Using experiential learning and the ICF model as a tool for introductory interprofessional collaborative practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this