Continuation of an Academic Journal Club By Recent Graduates: How and Why Did It Occur?
Purpose: To explore the phenomenon of the voluntary continuation of an academic journal club (JC) experience by recent doctorate of physical therapy (DPT) graduates. Methods/Description: A qualitative approach based in phenomenology guided by conceptual models for first and second year physical therapy practice was used. Data collection included semi-structured interviews with participants, nonparticipant observations during one in-person and one remote JC meeting, and review of documents on a shared Google Drive. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and data were coded and categorized until themes emerged. Data from observations and the Google Drive were used to corroborate information gathered during interviews. Participants: 7 recent DPT graduates voluntarily participating in the same JC, 6 from the same DPT cohort and 1 from another university Results/Outcomes: The JC was initiated by 2 members of a recent DPT graduate cohort based on their experience of participating in a JC activity during their last didactic semester and other exposure to research literature during their didactic coursework. Journal club leaders contacted faculty twice asking for support; once as they were initiating the program and later asking for advice on expanding participation. At the time of data collection, the JC had met 8 times in 6 months with a second remote meeting added to the traditional in-person meeting during the last two months. Attendance varied between 2 and 6 participants at any given meeting with approximately 11 total participants, 3 of whom were not members of the same DPT cohort. Interviewed participants ranged from having attended 2 to 8 meetings. Themes included: 1.) Accountability, 2.) Variety of Perspectives, 3.) Effect on Practice, 4.) Challenges, 5.) Professional Role Adoption, 6.) Network, and 7.) Recommendations for Others. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Exposure to a JC experience during the didactic phase of physical therapy education may encourage graduates to embrace this professional behavior in the early phases of their profession. Journal club participation during the early phase of professional role adoption along with other factors may aid in development of confidence and competence with clinical decision making as well as patient and coworker interactions. Timing and meaningfulness of the didactic JC activity may be important factors to consider during implementation. In addition, faculty support and other resources may be important factors in facilitating success after graduation.