Assessing physical therapy students' performance during clinical practice

Sue Murphy, Megan Dalton, Diana Dawes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To assess the feasibility and acceptability of using the Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice (APP) instrument to assess physiotherapy students clinical competencies. Methods: A convenience sample of clinical educators (CEs) and students from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, completed the instrument currently in use, the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT-CPI), and the APP. A cross-sectional survey of CEs and physiotherapy students was conducted from 2011 to 2012; the survey included questions worded to elicit opinions about the two instruments when used in the clinical environment with students at different stages of training. Questions addressed various aspects of the instruments, including ease of use, provision of feedback, and completion time. Results: Data were analyzed from 63 CEs from a variety of settings; sufficient data were recorded on 71 student PT-CPI and APP forms. A grading comparison between the PT-CPI and the APP demonstrated equivalence of entry-to-practice standard. Mean completion time was 80 (SD 53) minutes for the PT-CPI and 23 (13) minutes for the APP; mean time difference was 57 (95 CI, 39-75). Students would prefer (82 ) that the APP be used to provide feedback and assess their performance on clinical placements. Conclusions: It is feasible and acceptable to use the APP to assess physiotherapy students clinical competencies at the University of British Columbia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169 - 176
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiotherapy Canada
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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