Date of Award

Spring 3-1-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Genevieve Pinto-Zipp, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Deborah DeLuca, J.D.

Committee Member

Terrence Cahill, Ed.D.


Respiratory Care, Respiratory Therapists, Interprofessional Education, Interprofessional Practice, Team-Based, Evidence-Based Effective Care


Context: Respiratory care (RC) is a health-care discipline that specializes in providing

treatment for patients with acute and chronic cardiopulmonary abnormalities. The actual practice of respiratory care has changed dramatically since its inception. Today, RCs possess a strong skill base and an expansive depth of knowledge, which enables them to provide safe,team-based, evidence-based effective care for patients. The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) has recently required that RC programs nationwide include interprofessional education (IPE) as an accreditation standard to encourage the goal of promoting interprofessional practice (IPP).

Objective: To explore perceptions of RC students, faculty, and practicing professionals regarding IPE and its ability to support IPP. Additionally, to identify factors that affect perceptions of knowledge, skills, and abilities related to IPE and IPP among RC students,faculty, and practicing professionals.

Design: A concurrent mixed method embedded design.

Setting: Online survey instrument. Participants: 421 RC students and RC professionals or therapists received an email invitation to participate in the study. The final sample population size based on completed surveys was (N=208).

Interventions: Participants completed the Interprofessional Education Perceptions Survey ([IEPS] McFadyen et al., 2007), consisting of five quantitative or categorical questions and five open-ended questions.

Results: Mean score findings on the IEPS showed a high level of positive perception toward IPE competency among the RC students (M = 5.40, SD =.51) as compared with RC professionals (M = 4.93, SD =.89). An independent sample t test revealed a significant difference between RC students and RC professionals (t (206) = 3.07, p =.002

There was a significant main effect of professional status on the IEPS overall score regardless of the IPE exposure, F (2,202) = 3.15, p

Conclusion: In this study, regardless of the status of RC students’ and professionals’ exposure to IPE during their professional education, RC students, faculty, and professionals perceived IPE as positively supporting IPP. Qualitatively, for those directly exposed to IPE, simulation was identified as the most useful IPE experience for promoting IPP.