The UTEP Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Clinical Reasoning Framework: Development and Implementation
Purpose: Develop an evidence-based clinical reasoning framework to facilitate faculty instruction, minimize ambiguity, and enhance student clinical reasoning competence across the curriculum of The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program. Methods/Description: In November 2017, the UTEP DPT faculty met to develop a program definition of clinical reasoning, refine our assessment of student clinical reasoning competence, develop a clinical reasoning framework, and discuss approaches to integrate this framework across the curriculum. Faculty discussed where and how clinical reasoning was currently implemented and assessed. An iterative process was utilized with faculty discussions and concept mapping to develop a consensus-based clinical reasoning definition and framework. Key concepts and terms were discussed to standardize comprehension. From this initial meeting, 3 working groups were formed for development, integration, and assessment. Results/Outcomes: The process led to a final, faculty-approved, consensus-based clinical reasoning definition and framework that synthesizes current clinical reasoning models combined with concepts from the American Physical Therapy Association’s Guide to Physical Therapist Practice and the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Function model. The process of developing and formalizing the framework enhanced faculty’s knowledge regarding clinical reasoning complexity. The framework has been integrated into the curriculum using standardized terminology and active-learning methods easily modifiable to curricular specific objectives. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Implementation of a standardized framework may enhance student clinical reasoning competence. Clinical reasoning is an essential component of entrustable professional activities in physical therapy education which has the potential to contribute to safe, autonomous, and effective clinical practice. Future goals include integration of the clinical reasoning framework with clinical instructors and assessment of learning outcomes.