Interprofessional collaborative practice (IPP) means different professionals working together to provide the best services possible and spark big, systemic changes to help their clients thrive. Its precursor—interprofessional education— involves professionals coming together to learn about each other’s roles and how to collaborate. IPP is a buzzy topic in healthcare and education right now, and while grad programs are starting to add interprofessional education opportunities, it’s one thing to learn about it and another thing to make it happen in your setting. In a large survey, Pfeiffer et al. looked at school SLPs’ use of IPP. Their main findings were:
SLPs most often engaged in IPP during IEP meetings (43% of SLPs), while using IPP in evaluation and treatment was less common (8% and 14% of SLPs, respectively).
SLPs were more likely to use IPP if they received interprofessional education training, had more years of experience, or worked in elementary (vs. secondary) schools.
SLPs reported that a lack of time, buy-in from other professionals, and administrative support stopped them from using IPP.
If you’re finding it difficult to use IPP in your school, know that most of your peers are, too. The authors recommend that grad programs add more interprofessional education training and that schools create opportunities for collaborative learning between professionals. While systemic change is needed, even baby steps toward IPP might make a difference for your clients. See these articles to learn more about IPP, and get inspired by this fun example of an SLP collaborating with an adapted PE teacher.
Pfeiffer, D. L., Pavelko, S. L., Hahs-Vaughn, D. L., & Dudding, C. C. (2019). A national survey of speech–language pathologists’ engagement in interprofessional collaborative practice in schools: Identifying predictive factors and barriers to implementation. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. doi:10.1044/2019_LSHSS-18-0100