International Service Learning in Roatan, Honduras: Feedback from a Community Served

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Introduction: Mutual benefit to participants and recipients of international service learning (ISL) is often assumed by academic institutions when bringing medical/health care and education to underserved countries. Research documenting feedback from host communities is needed in all disciplines, including physical therapy. Review of Literature: Overall, host communities appear to appreciate collaborations with ISL visiting teams, however, these communities may endure hardships unbeknownst to visiting partners such as reinforcement of negative attitudes, disruption of community relations and dynamics, interactions with culturally insensitive visitors, and poor quality care. The purpose of this study was to collect and document feedback from a host community after a two-week ISL experience with Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students and faculty. Subjects: Twelve community leaders who interacted daily with the DPT students and faculty were interviewed. Methods: Individual interviews were completed and transcribed. The constant comparative method was used to generate themes. Results: Four areas of feedback were identified: 1) a shift negative cultural attitudes about disability, 2) increase awareness of the role and benefits of physical therapy to address community needs, 3) trust for the authenticity and cultural humility from the ISL team, and 4) a desire to sustain the partnership. Discussion and Conclusion: The host community was very satisfied with the partnership and wished to strengthen relationships for long-term sustainability. Recommendations for ISL curriculum in physical therapist education were identified or reinforced from this study.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Feb 2017
EventAmerican Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting - Anaheim, CA
Duration: Feb 1 2017Feb 28 2017


ConferenceAmerican Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting


Dive into the research topics of 'International Service Learning in Roatan, Honduras: Feedback from a Community Served'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this