3D printing applications through peer-assisted learning and interprofessional education approaches
Keywords:interprofessional education, 3D printing, peer-assisted learning, occupational therapy
Introduction: Although 3D printing offers customised assistive technology devices at relatively low costs to address the access needs of individuals with disabilities, implementation barriers exist to achieve widespread technology adoption. To improve 3D technology acceptance and to better prepare future clinicians, peer-assisted learning (PAL) was undertaken between occupational therapy (OT) students and students with expertise in 3D printing to work to address real-life patient functional problems.
Methods: 3D printing technology acceptance was measured between cohorts of OT students (Cohort Year 2020, n = 31; Cohort Year 2021, n = 32) without and with PAL integration approaches, respectively, at the conclusion of the 15-week term at project completion.
Results: After the structured interprofessional PAL modules, Cohort Year 2021 improved in perception of Usefulness (p = 0.023) as compared to Cohort Year 2020, while the Ease of Use (p = 0.095), Attitude Toward Using (p = 0.313) and Intention to Use (p = 0.271) categories did not significantly differ between cohort years.
Conclusions: PAL modules may improve perceptions of 3D printing Usefulness among OT students, however Ease of Use should continue to be explored as both 2020 and 2021 cohort average perceptions were neutral related to 3D printing technology. Identifying ideal training and mentoring approaches may alleviate the Ease of Use barriers to integration of this technology within both the classroom and practice settings and benefit patients.
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