Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-30-2016


Interprofessional practice (IPP), collaboration of professionals from different backgrounds working together to provide services, is of growing importance in speech-language pathology and across other disciplines in the vast health field (WHO, 2010). The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) stresses the importance of communicating roles and responsibilities of health professionals to provide the best quality care for patients (Dixon & Oandasan, 2015). In order to understand the roles and responsibilities across disciplines, health care professionals and students need to be provided with the necessary education. Currently, an initiative for interprofessional competency is being constructed to provide more involved education for the healthcare field (Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel, 2011). The World Health Organization (WHO) defines this as interprofessional education (IPE): ‘when two or more health professionals learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes’ (WHO, 2010, p. 10). The purpose of IPE is to make studying health care professionals knowledgeable of and prepared for collaboration with other professionals during practice.

While the WHO definition of IPE applies to healthcare professions as a whole, ASHA has adopted and applied this definition specifically to speech-language pathology and audiology. A specific population that speech language pathologists (SLP) assess and treat especially involved in the multidisciplinary approach is individuals with dysphagia, a feeding and swallowing disorder. The current study is interested in investigating IPE as it specifically relates to evaluation and treatment of dysphagia.