Observations and Performances with Distinction by Physical Therapy Students in Clinical Education: Analysis of Check-boxes on the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT-CPI) Over a 4 Year Period.
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Purpose: To describe how often the 24 performance criteria of the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT-CPI) were not observed and how often they were rated exceptionally well for physical therapy (PT) students in relation to clinical placement descriptors. Methods: Indicators of “not observed,” performance “with distinction,” and “significant concerns” were tabulated from 1,460 clinical placements between 2008 and 2012. The rates for these indicators were evaluated with respect to catchment area, practice setting (hospital/institutional or community-based), practice area (musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory, neurology, paediatrics, geriatrics, or variety) and level (junior to senior). Results: Of the 24 PT-CPI criteria, 15 had observation rates >95%. Of the other 9 criteria, some showed significant differences in observation rates across level, practice setting, and practice area. Ratings of “with distinction” were awarded most often for criteria related to professionalism and communication and were awarded more often in community-based settings than in hospital/institutional settings. For some criteria, “with distinction” was awarded more often in paediatrics placements than in other areas. The “significant concerns” checkboxes were very rarely used. Conclusions: The overall observation rates were very similar to those reported elsewhere. The findings related to performance with distinction and observation rates relative to setting and practice area are new contributions to knowledge.