The Impact of Integrated Clinical Education on Confidence Scores in Novice Physical Therapy Students.

Purpose: The Indiana University Physical Therapy curriculum is a lock-step program that features a first year of study focused on basic science coursework that progresses into more applied sciences and clinical internships. Students often cite a lack of clinical connection within coursework that is very science-based. In addition, clinical instructors reported students were less than adequately prepared for their first full-time internship following a year of science-based didactic study. Consequently, faculty developed an integrated clinical curriculum that sought to enhance student application of learned material through weekly clinical practice exposure. The goal was to provide student opportunities to apply learned material within a clinical setting to enhance confidence in the application of learned material. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the impact of an integrative clinical education pedagogy to foster student development in an entry-level doctorate program. Self-reported confidence levels in clinical skill application of first year physical therapy students were used to analyze the impact of this curricular design.Methods/Description: Seventy-one first year physical therapy students participated in the pretest measurement, the first year curriculum, and posttest measurement. Prior to the start of the program, each student completed a 15 question assessment tool asking for students to rate their confidence in performing vary aspects of a clinical assessment. Following the completion of the first year of the program which included two integrated clinical education courses, students were asked to self-assess the change in confidence levels when working with patients.Results/Outcomes: Statistical analysis reveal a significant difference (p < .0001) between pre- and post-test confidence levels. Students demonstrated an overall average self-confidence increase of 45%. When asked to reflect on this improvement, the majority of respondents attributed a portion of this change in confidence to the opportunity to apply learned skills within the integrated clinical courses.Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education: Professional programs requiring clinical internships often traditionally split the curricula into two isolated silos, one focusing on didactic coursework and the other on clinical education. However, there may be several benefits to innovative curricular models which integrate clinical patient exposure concurrently with didactic coursework. Integrated Clinical Education (ICE) models use intentionally-linked clinical experiences and classroom teaching to reduce the theory-practice gap. This could result in increased student confidence during patient interactions, improved retention of learned material, and enhanced student understanding of the relevance of didactic instruction. In fall 2011, the Indiana University DPT program transitioned to an integrated clinical education model and this report illustrates the initial 2- year findings with regard to learning outcomes.References: 1.Weddle M., Sellheim D. An Integrative Curriculum Model Preparing Physical Therapists for Vision 2020 Practice. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 2009; 23 (1): 12Ð21. 2.Plack M. The Learning Triad: Potential Barriers and Supports to Learning in the Physical Therapy Clinical Environment. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 2008; 22 (3): 7Ð18. 3.Threlkeld A., Jensen G., Royeen C. The Clinical Doctorate: A Framework for Analysis in Physical Therapist Education. Physical Therapy. 1999; 79 (6): 567Ð581. 4.Dunfee H. Clinical Education: Past, Present, and Future. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 2008; 22 (3): 3Ð6. 5.Lekkas P., Larsen T., Kumar S., Grimmer K., Nyland L., Chipchase L., Jull G., Buttrum P., Carr L., Finch J. No model of clinical education for physiotherapy students is superior to another: a systematic review. Austrian Journal of Physiotherapy. 2007; 53: 19Ð28. 6.Wetherbee E., Peatman N., Kenney D., Cusson M., Applebaum D. Standards for Clinical Education: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 2010; 24 (3): 35Ð43. 7.Healey W. Physical Therapist Student Approaches to Learning During Clinical Education Experiences: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 2008; 22 (1): 49Ð58. 8.Recker-Hughes C., Brooks G., Mowder-Tinney J., Pivko S. Clinical InstructorsÕ Perspectives on Professional Development Opportunities: Availability, Preferences, Barriers, and Supports. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 2010; 24 (2): 19Ð25. 9.Strohschein J., Hagler P., May L. Assessing the Need for Change in Clinical Education Practices. Physical Therapy. 2002; 82 (2): 160Ð172.

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  • Control #: 1995393
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: ELC2014
  • Authors: Valerie A. Strunk, Peter Altenburger
  • Keywords:

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