PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: The purpose of this study was to investigate student confidence in the evaluation and treatment of a person with a neurological condition through the use of Patient Oriented Integrated Neurological Treatment (POINT) labs. We hypothesized that POINT labs would significantly improve students' confidence in evaluation and treatment this population.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: As part of their curriculum, physical therapy students at the University of St. Augustine are required to participate in POINT labs during their Neuromuscular III and Pediatric PT classes. The POINT labs are divided into an adult and pediatric section, in which the students evaluate and treat each participant from both sections once a week for 4 weeks. The participants are volunteers from the community who have been diagnosed with a neurological condition. A survey pilot study was conducted during the Spring 2015 semester to assess students' perception of confidence in the evaluation and treatment of this population. Forty eight physical therapy students participated in the pretest survey prior to the start of the first POINT lab. The survey contained 10 questions and took no more than 5 minutes to complete. The same survey was given to the students immediately upon completion of the fourth POINT lab. A paired sample t-test was used to analyze the difference between the pretest and posttest groups for each question on the survey.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: There was a significant difference between the pretest and posttest for each of the 10 questions (p<.0001). These findings are consistent with our hypothesis that the use of POINT labs significantly improve students' confidence in evaluation and treatment of a person with a neurological condition. This study supports improving upon the traditional model of physical therapy education by bringing patients into the classroom.
Barta, Kristen and Flores, Megan, "Assessing Student Self-Perception of Confidence in the Evaluation and Treatment of the Neurologically Involved Across the Lifespan" (2016). Physical Therapy. 4.