The Relationship Between Academic Factors and Clinical Education Outcomes Ê

Purpose: Clinical educators often look for retroactive clues when a student ÒfailsÓ a clinical education experience.Ê The purpose of this study is to identify relationships between success in the didactic portion of the curriculum with success or failure on clinical education. A secondary aim is to determine if any didactic classes are predictive of failure in clinical education so educators can be more proactive with students who are at risk.Methods/Description: This retrospective study used de-identified academic course grades from 295 doctor of physical therapy students enrolled in a large urban university over a 3-year years. From this cohort, 12 students (4%) failed a clinical. Amongst students that failed a clinical, the mean GPA was 3.21 (4.0 scale), whereas students who passed all clinicals had a 3.45. Other student characteristics were not determined since the data was de-identified. All didactic course grades from the professional phase of the curriculum were included as independent variables, as well as selected grades from the pre-professional phase. Comparison of the mean grades between the two groups (students who either did or did not fail a clinical) were conducted using t-test, one way ANOVA and Tukey-Kramer post-testing.Results/Outcomes: 26 variables were found to have statistically significant differences in mean grades when compared between students that failed a clinical compared to those that did not (p-value: 0.05). In the pre-professional phase of the curriculum, students who failed a clinical had significantly lower mean grades in Anatomy & Physiology 2 Lab (-0.580), Physics for Life Sciences lecture and lab (-0.514) and Developmental Psychology (-0.508).Ê In the professional phase of the curriculum, the classes with the largest difference between the groups were Neurological Management 2 Lab (-0.540), Pathology (-0.506) and Gross Anatomy Lab (-0.451).Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education: Results of the analysis demonstrate specific classes have predictive value in whether or not a student will go on to successfully complete all of their clinicals. In the pre-professional phase of the curriculum, the presence of basic science courses as risk factors may demonstrate that students may not have a grasp of foundational concepts to incorporate them into professional courses.Ê In the professional phase of the curriculum, students with lower grades in the identified classes may have difficulty utilizing the psychomotor and cognitive skills from these courses while on clinical. This information is relevant to the future of physical education because by identifying these students earlier in the curriculum, academic faculty can identify these students earlier and provide more targeted appropriate resources.Ê It also allows clinical education faculty to more strategically monitor these students during clinical education experiences to provide appropriate guidance and support in advance of any issues that may arise. ÊReferences: Abele C, Penprase B, Ternes R. 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  • Control #: 1996011
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: ELC2014
  • Authors: Christopher Cesario, Mary Ann Wilmarth
  • Keywords:

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