A Model for Interprofessional Learning: Dance and Physical Therapy Students Working Together to Help People with Parkinson’s Disease.

Heather M Trommer-Beardslee, Heather M Trommer Beardslee, Jamie Haines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


<b>Background and Purpose</b><br>Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease that results in disability and impairment. Exercise is one of the evidence-based ways that individuals with PD have seen an improvement in their symptoms, and dance specifically has been studied as a way to improve their condition. Seeing a need for exercise-based opportunities for community members with PD, faculty and students collaborated to create a dance class to fill that need. The purpose of this paper was to present the development and execution of an interprofessional experience with dance and physical therapy faculty and students to provide a community exercise class for people with Parkinson’s disease (PwPD).<br><b>Method/Model Description and Evaluation</b><br>Over the course of two semesters, PT and Dance students collaborated to design and execute a community dance class for PwPD. Integrating discipline-specific expertise, students worked to collectively design class sessions, schedule classes, advertise, communicate with local entities and carry out weekly classes. Students and faculty meet weekly for reflection and feedback after classes, which were held once weekly at two locations: a senior community center and an assisted living facility. Interviews were conducted with students and faculty and analyzed for themes using the constant comparative method.<br><b>Outcomes</b><br>Interviews of participants revealed student growth with communication between disciplines, desire to serve the community, and recognizing the roles of each other with respect to their disciplines and the class in order to make it a success.<br><b>Discussion/Conclusion</b><br>The combination of IPE and service learning was successful in providing a unique exercise-based opportunity to individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Students collaborated, using peer feedback and communication to formulate an effective class and interprofessional learning opportunity. Participants in the class reported enjoying it as a whole and appreciating the social interaction opportunity it gave them in addition to the exercise.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDance Education in Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 1800


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