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J. Gotlib, D. Bialoszewski

Medical University of Warsaw (POLAND)
In Poland at present, Physiotherapy is offered at three types of school: 1) medical universities (PM), 2) universities of physical education (PWF), and 3) schools not specialising in either the medical sciences or physical education (IP).
Since 1st January 1998 the professional title of a physiotherapist in Poland may
be awarded only to graduates of university-level degree programmes in physiotherapy who have obtained the Bachelor degree. After graduation from a Bachelor degree course, the vast majority of students take on employment and simultaneously continue studies on a Master degree course. Students also participate in certified occupational courses after which they are entitled to use specialist, modern physiotherapy methods that are not covered in the curriculum during their university studies.
The aim of this study was to analyse the knowledge and motivation of Physiotherapy students to participate in certified occupational courses.
The total of 1600 second year Physiotherapy students of full-time and part-time Master degree courses from 17 Polish university-level schools took part in the study. A mean questionnaire return rate was 53%.
Voluntary and anonymous questionnaire studies were conducted during teaching classes at the end of the summer semester (April/May) of the academic year 2010/2011 by the Project co-ordinators who represented different universities. Due to the research area and the study group, the approval of the Ethical Review Board of Warsaw Medical University was not necessary to conduct the study.
STATISTICA 10.0, non-parametric statistical tests: Chi-square, Kruskall-Wallis, and Mann-Whitney U, p<0.05.
40% of the students who took part in the study declared participation in additional occupational courses: 44% of PM, 45% of PWF, and 29% of IP (p<.000). The most important factor which motivated students to attend occupational courses was the willingness to become certified to use a particular method (589 students, p<0.043), and the least important factor was fashion-related (79 students, p<0.118). The vast majority of students (1037 students) had found out about the courses from the Internet (p<0.019), and 30% of the participants (555 students) learned about such courses from their lecturer during university classes (p<.000). The vast majority of students (1376 students) declared that they would like to get objective information on the suitability of courses and additional workshops for rehabilitators/physiotherapists during their university classes because data of this kind are not available enough to students (p<0.883).
1. The educational profile of the university-level school may influence the interest of students in participation in external certified occupational courses.
2. Polish Physiotherapy students seem to have a practical attitude towards the post-graduation training, which is more oriented to the content and usefulness and less oriented to temporary trends in physiotherapy.
3. There is an urgent need that university-level schools educating prospective physiotherapists develop educational programmes which would deal to a greater extend than it is at present with modern methods used in physiotherapy and which would constitute specific guidebooks in which students would be able to find information on the best parallel and post-graduate directions of further studies.