Assessing Student Confidence in Meeting Healthcare Education Disability Competencies: An Adaptive Sports Experience

Purpose/Hypothesis : Disparity in health services between people with and without disability is significant. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce secondary complications among persons with disability (PWD). Barriers to activity include lack of provider knowledge and training, and inaccurate perceptions held by persons who are not disabled. While community resources such as Bridge II Sports, a non-profit community organization that provides opportunities for PWD to play team and individual sports, exist, the lack of healthcare provider knowledge about these organizations often limits their reach. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an Adaptive Sports Experience (ASE) on the achievement of educational competencies related to disability among health profession learners at Duke University.Number of Subjects : Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) (n=67) and Physician Assistant (PA) (n=33) students who participated in an adaptive sports experience.Materials/Methods : In conjunction with Bridge II Sports, Duke Recreation and the Duke University School of Medicine provided an ASE for students in healthcare professions. DPT and PA students participated in a variety of adaptive sports alongside community athletes with disabilities. A survey was developed to assess pre- and post-event student perspectives on core healthcare educational competencies related to disability. Independent t-tests were used to assess differences in baseline scores between the groups, as well as pre-and post-intervention within groups. A 2-way ANOVA was used to assess for the potential interaction of group and time.Results : Of the 97 completed student pre-surveys, 56% had no prior experience with adaptive sports. Those with prior experience scored 2.7 (out of a maximum of 32) points higher at baseline than those without experience (p=.02). The probability of being exposed to an ASE is 6.8 times more likely for DPT than PA students. Overall, all students scored 1.9 points higher during the post-test survey than at the pre-test baseline (p<.001). On average, PT students scored higher than PA students on pre- and post-assessment (p<.001). Four of eight individual competency scores as well as the total survey score increased significantly from pre- to post-event (p<.001).Conclusions : The ASE had a positive impact on healthcare studentsÕ perceptions of their core competencies related to disability. More than half of the students who attended this experience did not have exposure to adaptive sports. DPT students report greater exposure to disability than PA students, however it is unknown whether this is a direct result of the curricula or pre-existing factors. Post-event scores improved more for those students with no exposure prior to the ASE, however this result was not statistically significant.Clinical Relevance : Participation in an ASE appears to help foster early career competence in working with PWD. It is possible that exposure to PWD within the DPT curriculum can serve as a model for other healthcare professions.

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  • Control #: 2025368
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Kimberle A. Cratsenberg, Dylan B. Elliott, Heather A. Alcorn, Betsy Q. Melcher, Charles Sheets, Jody A. Feld
  • Keywords: adaptive sports|disability|education

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