E. Marqués-Sulé1, M. Inglés de la Torre1, J. Casaña1, G. Espí1, Y. Ezzatvar1, S. Pérez-Alenda1, J. Sánchez-Torrijos2, V. Girbés2, J. Blesa-Jarque3

1Physiotherapy Department. University of Valencia (SPAIN)
2Valencian Heart Institute, Spanish Foundation of the Heart (SPAIN)
3Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Food Sciences, Toxicology and Forensic Medicine Department, University of Valencia (SPAIN)
The Service-Learning Program (SLP) is a tool for students’ active participation, which might be more effective than other traditional approaches in different academic scenarios, especially in higher education. However, it is not well established which is the students’ perception in terms of satisfaction when using this tool for academic purposes.

Thus, the aim of this study is to assess the satisfaction of Physiotherapy undergraduate students in the subject “Cardiovascular physiotherapy”, after the use of the SLP method, in the context of cardiac rehabilitation. This subject is an obligatory subject of 3rd course of Physical Therapy Degree, which has a study load of 6 ECTS credits in the Degree of Physiotherapy at University of Valencia.

To carry out this study, every third year student of the Physical Therapy Degree at University of Valencia who was studying the subject “Cardiovascular Physiotherapy”, was invited to participate in a SLP project with patients with heart disease. Students who accepted to voluntarily participate in this study, were included in the study, and were divided in groups composed of 3 or 4 students, using the SLP as an active participation methodology. Students were asked to define the requirements of real patients with ischemic cardiopathy, and to design a physical exercise program adapted to them. They also had to defend the utility and validity of the end product in an oral presentation of the program to the patients, solving any possible doubt. After this process, students were assessed with a questionnaire in order to determine their satisfaction levels with this learning tool.

Results showed that SLP is a suitable option regarding the study of the subject “Cardiovascular Physiotherapy” for Physical Therapy undergraduate students, being considered an adequate methodology for the study of this subject, improving participation and comprehension of the contents, being useful for their learning process, and increasing students’ interest in this subject.