PHYSIOTHERAPY STUDENTS´ OPINIONS ABOUT THE USE OF AN ON-LINE LEARNING PROGRAMME TO LEARN PROFESSIONAL ETHICS IN THE UNIVERSITY

M. Aguilar-Rodriguez, E. Marqués-Sulé, R. Faubel-Cava, N. Sempere-Rubio, S. Cortés-Amador

University of Valencia, Physiotherapy Faculty (SPAIN)
Introduction:
Students´ opinions towards the subject is important within the university context, in order to promote student commitment and thus to the practice of an ethically responsible profession.

The objectives of this project were:
1) to determine students’ opinions towards their education in professional ethics after an on-line learning program;
2) to develop ethical competence by means of the proposed model.

Methods:
Participants were randomly assigned to an experimental group or to a control group. Opinions towards professional ethics were analyzed at the end of an on-line programme based in Professional Ethics. Informed consent was obtained. An on-line 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 signed up in the mandatory subject Clinical Stays III. A special syllabus to be studied online was elaborated and several on-line activities were performed. Experimental group followed the new methodology, while control group performed their practices as usual.

Results:
Regarding students’ views about the new methodology, responses were positive. It was remarkable that 100% of the students consider that the extension of the contents was enough, 94% an appropriate timing of the subject and 91% a correct specificity of the contents of the subject. On the other hand, 86% of the students highlights the proper understanding of the issues, while 90% remarks the usefulness of related activities and 84% highlights the usefulness of associating theoretical content with practices. Finally, the 83% of the students considered that the on-line method is appropiate and the 88% would recommend the issues proposed to other students. In general, students were satisfied with the format of the methodology and its learning opportunities.

Conclusions:
Learning professional ethics by means of the proposed training model improves Physiotherapy students´ opinions towards their training in this subject. The on-line training model of teaching-learning about professional ethics associated with clinical practice, designed for this study, develops ethical competence in Physiotherapy students.