An evaluation of students' perspectives of a college based programme that involves patients, carers and service users in physiotherapy education

Thomson, Di and Hilton, Ros (2012) An evaluation of students' perspectives of a college based programme that involves patients, carers and service users in physiotherapy education. Physiotherapy Research International, 17(1), pp. 36-47. ISSN (print) 1358-2267

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is little evidence of the integration of UK physiotherapy university education into clinical practice, and some students say that they are not adequately prepared for professional life. This was addressed by a college-based programme involving patients, carers and service users as facilitators of learning to enhance the partnership between health professionals and patients. PURPOSE: This programme has been running for 2 years, and this paper is an evaluation of the students' perceptions of it, appraising the outcomes of their learning in order to discover the ways in which it can be enhanced, improved or changed. METHODS: A grounded theory approach utilizing focus groups and semi-structured interviews was conducted. Three focus groups representing the higher educational levels 4-6 in pre-registration physiotherapy were carried out. Following the analysis of the focus groups, seven interviews reflecting the three educational levels were conducted in order to explore in greater depth the findings from the focus groups. The analysis of the focus groups and the subsequent interviews were carried out in accordance with a grounded theory framework. RESULTS: The students perceived the programme as a context in which to think how their learning needs could be met within a 'real' framework but on their own territory. Equally, it created feelings of anxiety at being given such an open forum that created a challenge to their communication skills. Many expressed a wish for a more explicit mentoring-learning environment. They also perceived a tension between the technical-rational demands of academia and social practice and a need to view this as a basis for critical appraisal and self-awareness. CONCLUSION: This programme appeared to be integral to the students' development as future physiotherapists.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Allied health professions and studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences (until 2013)
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Depositing User: Davina Omar
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2012 11:06
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2014 11:42
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/24368

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