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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 73-78

Enhancing professionalism in physiotherapy interns using a structured teaching and assessment module

Physiotherapy School and Centre, Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mariya Jiandani
Physiotherapy School and Centre, Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/PJIAP.PJIAP_16_18

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INTRODUCTION: Professionalism describes the skills, competency, attributes, and behavior of an individual belonging to a profession. The physiotherapy graduate on completion of internship has direct access with the community as a professional. Hence, there is a need to explicitly teach and assess professionalism. The purpose of this study was to prepare a module to enhance professionalism and use tools to assess the professional attributes uniformly. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A module was formulated with the help of experts, literature review, and guidelines of various physiotherapy regulatory bodies nationally and internationally. Focused group discussions were used as a method to identify competencies. After designing the module, a prospective intervention trial was conducted wherein 40 students who joined the internship program of a tertiary care hospital of India, were enrolled for the study. A participatory approach was used which included an interactive workshop on “ethics in clinical practice, communication skills, and professionalism.” A written pre-post evaluation and workplace-based assessment were carried out in four core physiotherapy areas. Competencies and attributes were measured using tools such professional mini-evaluation exercise (P-MEX), prevalidated checklist for clinical reasoning, patient feedback form, and a retro-preevaluation of self-assessment form of the American Physical Therapy Association. RESULTS: A total of 34 students completed the module. Data were analyzed using SPSS 16 software. Nonparametric Wilcoxon Signed Rank test was used to analyze the descriptive data. The statistical significance was kept at P < 0.05 at a confidence interval of 95%. There was a statistically significant increase in the knowledge component pre-post analysis (P < 0.00). Change in professional attributes as measured by P-MEX showed a significant change in Doctor-patient relationship (P < 0.01) and interprofessional skills (P < 0.001) followed by reflective skills (P < 0.007) and time management skills (P < 0.003). There was also a significant difference in total patient feedback scores from baseline (P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: The module helped students gain the knowledge and skills required to communicate and handle difficult situations relevant to physiotherapy practice.

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