Mixed Methods Study: A One-Week International Service Project Enhances Healthcare Competencies

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Journal of Interprofessional Care


Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) core competencies are widely accepted as a guide to prepare healthcare professionals. Two competency domains, values/ethics and roles and responsibilities, have specific relevance when investigating the effectiveness of a transcultural interprofessional experience. Participants were University of South Alabama students from the Colleges of Allied Health Professions, Medicine, and Nursing, who volunteered for a 7-day service learning experience in Trinidad.

A convergent mixed methods research design was used. Students completed two Likert scale surveys, the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Competency Survey (IPECC) and the Transcultural Self–Efficacy Tool- Multidisciplinary Healthcare Provider Version (TSET-MHP), prior to and following the experience. A Wilcoxon Sign Test was used to analyze quantitative data. Qualitative data, guided by the Critical Incident Technique, was obtained from diary entries during the trip and a selected member focus group post-trip.

There was a significant improvement in all three cultural competency domains of the TSET-MHP (p < .001). The most frequently reported IPEC sub-competencies were the ability to work in cooperation with those who receive, provide, and support care; and the ability to engage diverse healthcare providers to complement one’s own professional expertise. Based on participant report, an international interprofessional clinical experience appears to be effective in enhancing health care competencies.




Taylor & Francis

Peer Reviewed



Mixed methods, team-based care, interdisciplinary, health and social care, education, collaborative