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Rationale: A variety of clinical education (CE) exist. Models emphasizing full-time clinical experiences (FTCE) have higher number of full-time hours (high-hours) with less prior didactic preparation and integration with the curriculum. Models including integrated clinical experiences (ICE), part-time ICE (PTICE), and in-class patient experiences (IcPE) integrate experiences with didactic content but include a lower number of full-time hours (low-hours). The purpose of this study is to determine if a re-designed CE curricular model that emphasized IcPEs and ICE with low-hours better prepares students than a version that emphasized FTCEs with high-hours as measured by scores on the Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI).
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted on a data set of 183 Doctor of Physical Therapy students who participated in an initial and final terminal CE experience. Data included student pre-admission data, demographics, and evaluation type, period, and rating for all 18 CPI criteria for the initial and final terminal CE experiences. Data were analyzed using SPSS Statistics.
Results: A statistically significant difference was found between cohorts for the initial terminal CE experience midterm assessment. One CPI factor was significant on the initial terminal CE experience final assessment and the final terminal CE experience midterm assessment (p < .05). Within cohort analysis for all three CPI factors at all assessment periods were statistically significant.
Conclusion: All students significantly improved from midterm to final assessment periods of the initial and final terminal CE experiences. Therefore, IcPE, allowing faculty to mentor and provide feedback to students should be considered an alternative to FTCE prior to students’ initial terminal CE experience.
MeSH Terms: curriculum, education, students
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