The value of service-learning has been well documented in medical and allied health education (Abedini, Gruppen, Kolars, & Kumagai, 2012; Ekelman, Dal Bello-Haas, Bazyk, & Bazyk, 2003; Pechak, Gonzalez, Summers, & Capshaw, 2013; Pechak & Thompson, 2009; Ryan-Krause, 2016). Several studies have been conducted looking at cultural experiences and clinical reasoning (Corbett & Fickert, 2009; Sheppard & Landry, 2015; Nouvet, Chan & Schwartz, 2016). What has not been well-examined though is the concept of shared decision-making by those engaged in service-learning. The purpose of this phenomenological investigation (i.e. study) was to identify how occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) students defined shared decision-making in the context of an international service-learning trip to Guatemala City, Guatemala in April 2017.


Poster presented at the 2018 American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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Ekelman, B., Dal Bello-Haus, V., Bazyk, J., & Bazyk, S. (2003). Developing cultural competency in occupational therapy and physical therapy education: A field immersion approach. Journal of Allied Health, 32(2), 131-137.

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Nouvet, E., Chan, E., Schwartz, L.J. (2016). Looking good but doing harm? Perceptions of short-term medical missions in Nicaragua. Global Public Health, Aug 20,1-17.

Pechak, C.M., Thompson, M. (2009). A conceptual model of optimal international service-learning and its application to global health initiatives in rehabilitation. Physical Therapy, 89(11), 1192-204.

Pechak, C.M., Gonzalez, E., Summers, C., & Capshaw, S. (2013). Interprofessional education: A pilot study of rehabilitation sciences students participating in interdisciplinary international service learning. Journal of Allied Health, 42(3), e61-e66.

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Ryan-Krause, P. (2016). Short-term global experiences: Reflections, themes, and implications. Journal of Nursing Education,1;55(7), 379-384.

Sheppard, P.S., & Landry, M.D. (2016). Lessons from the 2015 earthquake(s) in Nepal: implication for rehabilitation. Disability and Rehabilitation, 38(9), 910-913. DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1064482