Knowledge Tree

Safer Patient Mealtimes: An interdisciplinary Educational Initiative for HSCP students in a neurorehabilitation setting

Authors: Marie Cox , Fiona Haughey, Niamh Leonard

Abstract Aims & Objectives: To outline the development and implementation of an interdisciplinary educational initiative regarding safer patient mealtimes for third level HSCP (Speech & Language Therapy, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy) students. Learning aims, approaches and outcomes will be outlined as well as participant feedback.Methodology: The topic of safer patient mealtimes was addressed from an interdisciplinary perspective focusing on swallowing, positioning, sensory, and compensatory and adaptive perspectives. Experiential, participatory, interactive and peer-learning methods were used.Discussion of Results: Interdisciplinary forms of learning are prevalent and growing in abundance and stature throughout higher education. Repko¹ asserts that interdisciplinary education fosters advances in cognitive ability and other educational researchers have identified a number of distinct educational benefits of interdisciplinary learning including gains in the ability to think critically and acknowledge and appreciate ethical concerns² ³. Research suggests that educational experiences are more authentic and of greater value to students when the subject-matter reflects real life, which is multi-faceted rather than being compartmentalized into neat subject-matter packages. Students who took part in this initiative reported improved understanding of their own roles and the roles of other team members in promoting safer patient mealtimes in a neurorehabilitation setting. They also indicated greater likelihood to liaise with colleagues from other disciplines when working with patients with swallowing and feeding difficulties. The participants also reported a preference for the experiential and active participatory learning approaches adopted in the tutorial.Conclusion: Interdisciplinary education is a cost-effective, rewarding and valid method promoting a holistic approach to patient-centred care.References:1. Repko, A.F. Assessing Interdisciplinary Learning Outcomes. Working Paper, School of Urban and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington. 20092. Field, M., Lee, R., and Field, M.L. “Assessing Interdisciplinary Learning.” New Directions in Teaching and Learning, 1994;58:69-84.3. Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L. and Cocking, R.R. How People Learn. National Academies Press. 2000


interdisciplinary student education, dysphagia, neurorehabilitation

How to Cite:

Cox M, Haughey F, Leonard N. Safer Patient Mealtimes: An interdisciplinary Educational Initiative for HSCP students in a neurorehabilitation setting. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2017;17(5):A513.

DOI: on 17th October 2017