Facilitating Future Scholar Practitioners: DPT Students Embrace Their Role in Research

Purpose/Hypothesis : Problem-based Learning (PBL) places students in a position of active responsibility for learning and mastering content. Both Vision 2020 and the newly adopted APTA Vision with Guiding Principles speak of physical therapists as scholar-practitioners who will contribute to the profession by engaging in best practice for the most effective care. Entry-level Doctoral educational programs emphasize evidence-based practice and research in order to achieve the Vision. Components of evidence-based practice include planning and conducting clinical, basic, or applied research. As members of the profession, physical therapists must understand research and add to the body of literature that supports our clinical practice. As educators we must ask, ÒHow do we teach our students the essence of good research?ÓNumber of Subjects : 90 DPT students in hybrid PBL ProgramsMaterials/Methods : Reflective writing samples from 90 first-year DPT students in a modified PBL program were collected on the first and last day of a research methods course. The students wrote on index cards their response to the question, ÒWhat is good research?Ó Additionally, on the last day of the course, students wrote about how their conceptions research were changing?Results : Writing samples were transcribed by one researcher (XX). Three researchers then formed a data analysis group to analyze the common themes from the written reflections using the whole-parts-whole method of Giorgi. Three common themes that emerged from Day One included: 1) The Integrity of Research, 2) The Usefulness or Importance of Research, and 3) Confused Perceptions of Research. Themes from the last day of the course included: 1) The Importance of Research Integrity, 2) The Usefulness of Research for Society, and 3) No Harm: Minimizing Risks & Maximizing Benefits. Common themes with regard to changing student conceptions of research included: 1) Greater Awareness of the Complexity of Research, 2) A Positive Emotional Connection to Research, and 3) Understanding the Value of Research on a Personal, Professional, Systematic, and Societal Level.Conclusions : Physical therapy has advanced to the doctoral level. In doing so we must facilitate our studentsÕ conception as professionals to include new roles as scholar-practitioners embracing research. Students demonstrated an increased awareness of their role as scholar-practitioners and were able to articulate the importance of participating in research as future clinicians. Students' fears and anxieties toward conducting research were reduced. Their views evolved from negative and daunting conceptions of research to a positive and exciting opportunity which they embraced as part of their professional role and duty.Clinical Relevance : Physical therapy has advanced to the doctoral level. In doing so we must facilitate our studentsÕ conception of themselves as scholar-practitioners.This analysis demonstrates maturation in the studentsÕ readiness to embrace research over the course of a semester.

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  • Control #: 2017720
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Susan G. Klappa, Lynne Hughes, Julie A. Thompson
  • Keywords: Research|Student learning|Scholar practitioners

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