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Journal of Allied Health



Medical Subject Headings

Attitude of Health Personnel; Curriculum; Disabled Persons; Humans; International Classification of Diseases; Patient-Centered Care; Physical Therapy Modalities; Physical Therapy Specialty


BACKGROUND: During a re-accreditation visit, deficiencies were discovered in the clinical education curriculum regarding patient-centered care in a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. To understand the problem and address those deficiencies, the clinical internship experience was examined using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model as a conceptual framework for clinical reasoning.

OBJECTIVE: This qualitative case study aimed to study (1) perceptions of physical therapy (PT) students regarding their knowledge and learning experiences during clinical affiliations and what knowledge they acquired of the ICF as applied to patient-centered care during their internship, and (2) the perceptions of clinical instructors (CIs) of their knowledge of the ICF model, its integration into their practice, barriers to its use, and the learning experiences the CIs provided to students regarding the ICF model.

METHODS: Data were collected using questionnaires sent to 42 CIs and at focus groups of 22 PT students conducted at the study site. Data were also collected from student evaluations on the Clinical Performance Instrument. Data were analyzed using coding techniques and themes based on the use of the ICF model in the clinical setting by students and CIs.

RESULTS: Most CIs reported a poor understanding of the ICF model or how it relates to patient-centered care; both CIs and students reported none to minimal learning experience related to the ICF model. Document analysis of the student evaluations revealed no assessment of the ICF model was mentioned.

CONCLUSION: Learning experiences of all domains of the ICF model are generally not being presented to PT students during their clinical affiliations.





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Published as: Peters-Brinkerhoff C. Perspectives on teaching the international classification of functioning, disability, and health model to physical therapy students. Journal of Allied Health. 2016 Winter;45(4):236-242.