The predictive validity of selection scores on workplace based clinical assessment in physiotherapy students

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Background: Selection processes for most Australian physiotherapy programs rely solely on prior academic performance (i.e. matriculation or Grade Point Average (GPA) scores). Reflecting the personal and behavioural attributes required for physiotherapy practice, selection for physiotherapy at Monash University, Australia, also included a structured interview and the UMAT (Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admission Test). Students complete 5 core clinical blocks in the final 1.5 years of their 4-year degree. These are assessed via the Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice (APP), a reliable and validated workplace-based assessment tool to evaluate the competency of pre-registration physiotherapy practice across Australia and New Zealand. This assessment format provides an opportunity to determine the relationship between selection scores and APP performance, which has not been reported previously.Summary of work: The clinical block results (x 5 APP scores) of 7 cohorts of physiotherapy students (n=497) were matched with selection data (GPA/Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR), Interview, UMAT Sections 1, 2 & 3). The relationships between selection and APP scores were explored via hierarchical multiple regression. Predictor variables entered at step 1 were intake year and gender, and at step 2, GPA/ATAR, Interview, UMAT Sections 1,2, and 3.Summary of results: In those selected on ATAR, the final regression models explained significant variance of every clinical block’s APP score (R2 = 0.044-0.086). The addition of selection variables at step 2 provided unique variance beyond that explained by intake year and gender (R2change = 0.032-0.083). The standardised regression coefficients for ATAR were statistically significant in 3 out of the 5 clinical blocks, whereas Interview was significant for all clinical blocks (β = 0.169, p<0.01 - 0.258, p<0.001).Conclusions: This is the first study to examine relationships between selection data and the widely adopted APP scores of physiotherapy students. Interview was the only variable that was a statistically significant contributor to the regression model in every clinical block.Take home messages: These findings indicate an important relationship between interview for physiotherapy course selection and subsequent clinical performance. The interview is not widely used for physiotherapy selection and our findings suggest that it may be a valuable addition.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2020
EventOttawa Conference 2020: Assessment of health professionals and evaluation of programmes: best practice and future development - Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 29 Feb 20204 Mar 2020 (OTTAWA 2020 Abstract Book)


ConferenceOttawa Conference 2020
CityKuala Lumpur
Internet address

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