An evaluation of learning clinical decision-making for early rehabilitation in the ICU via interactive education with audience response system

Amy L. Toonstra, Archana Nelliot, Lisa Aronson Friedman, Jennifer M. Zanni, Carol Hodgson, Dale M. Needham

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Knowledge-related barriers to safely implement early rehabilitation programs in intensive care units (ICUs) may be overcome via targeted education. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an interactive educational session on short-term knowledge of clinical decision-making for safe rehabilitation of patients in ICUs. Method: A case-based teaching approach, drawing from published safety recommendations for initiation of rehabilitation in ICUs, was used with a multidisciplinary audience. An audience response system was incorporated to promote interaction and evaluate knowledge before vs. after the educational session. Results: Up to 175 audience members, of 271 in attendance (129 (48%) physical therapists, 51 (19%) occupational therapists, 31 (11%) nursing, 14 (5%) physician, 46 (17%) other), completed both the pre- and post-test questions for each of the six unique patient cases. In four of six patient cases, there was a significant (p< 0.001) increase in identifying the correct answer regarding initiation of rehabilitation activities. This learning effect was similar irrespective of participants’ years of experience and clinical discipline. Conclusions: An interactive, case-based, educational session may be effective for increasing short-term knowledge, and identifying knowledge gaps, regarding clinical decision-making for safe rehabilitation of patients in ICUs.Implications for RehabilitationLack of knowledge regarding the safety considerations for early rehabilitation of ICU patients is a barrier to implementing early rehabilitation.Interactive educational formats, such as the use of audience response systems, offer a new method of teaching and instantly assessing learning of clinically important information.In a small study, we have shown that an interactive, case-based educational format may be used to effectively teach clinical decision-making for the safe rehabilitation of ICU patients to a diverse audience of clinicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1145
Number of pages3
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2017


  • Critical care
  • decision-making
  • intensive care units
  • rehabilitation

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