EFFECT OF A BLENDED LEARNING MODEL TO DEVELOP ETHICS COMPETENCE ON THE ATTITUDE OF PHYSIOTHERAPY STUDENTS TOWARDS LEARNING PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
Department of Physiotherapy. University of Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Physiotherapy students should become aware of that an ethical behavior is inherent to the profession, just as it is for other health professions (Nursery or Medicine). Curricula should take into account the development of the ability to recognize special ethics situations in the working setting, in which the main principles and moral values are jeopardized. Curricula should also promote debate and reflection about the main ethical issues in Physiotherapy, trying to confront their own personal values with professional ones and planning ethically suitable solutions consequently. Working cognitive, attitudinal and procedure aspects, guarantee the development of the ethics competence as a whole.
Physiotherapy in Spain is a relatively young profession, so there is still not enough literature about the effects of learning-teaching models about professional ethics.
Thus, the aim of this study was to analyze if the incorporation of a blended learning model to the physiotherapy curricula of the University of Valencia, specially worked out for the development of ethics competence, improves student’s attitude towards learning professional ethics.
It was a quasi-experimental study in which subjects were ramdomly assigned to an experimental (n = 65) and a control group (n = 64). Informed consent was obtained from all of them.
A blended learning model to teach professional ethics, associated to the clinical internship, was specially worked out for the students of the third course of the Physiotherapy degree (2010-2011) signed up in the mandatory subject Clinical Internship III.
A special syllabus to be studied online was elaborated, as well as workgroups were prepared to perform in the classroom to discuss special ethical issues detected along practices with real patients and real work setting. Experimental group followed the new methodology, while control group performed their practices as usual.
We developed, validated and administrated a 34-items attitudes questionnaire to measure student’s attitudes towards professional ethics. We used a Likert five answers scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). It was administrated at the beginning and at the end of the academic year. Wilcoxon non-parametric test was used to check changes in attitudes.
Results showed significant statistical differences between pretest (3,37 ± 0,85) and posttest (4,14 ± 0,66) only in the experimental group (p<0,05). In this group attitudes changed from positive (3,37 over 5) to very positive (4,14 over 5).
The incorporation of a blended learning model to the physiotherapy curricula of the University of Valencia to develop ethical competence, combined with clinical internship, improves student’s attitude towards learning professional ethics.
Keywords: Professional ethics, attitude, learning-teaching model.