Utility of a weekly feedback form with and without midterm Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI): impact on student and clinical instructor (CI) performance and satisfaction.


Physical therapist (PT) student clinical education (CE) typically occurs with formal performance feedback at midterm (M) and final (F) days of clinical experience, utilizing a validated, standardized tool, the Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI)1. Students identify lack of summative performance feedback, other than at midterm and final, as limiting their development as clinicians. This project assesses the impact of a weekly feedback form (WFF) upon: student performance, as measured by CI rating of student on all CPI items, though with a particular interest in the items of Communication and Clinical Reasoning, WFF foci; and student satisfaction with their clinical instruction, as measured by student rating of CI communication and feedback performance items on the APTA Student Evaluation of Clinical Experience and Clinical Instruction (SECECI)2.


216 DPT (36 per cohort x 6 clinicals) students and their clinical instructors were invited to participate in this study. This is a prospective study where the control group (CPI-M&F, no WFF) and each test group (CPI-M&F,WFF; CPI-F,WFF) utilize assessment tools and surveys this DPT program already requests of its students and CIs: APTA CPI and SECECI, and DPT Program’s WFF. For clinicals of 7-8 weeks in length, each cohort was split into control and the two test groups. For clinicals of 12 weeks, each cohort was split into control and one test group, CPI-M&F,WFF, to ensure formal midterm assessment for each student. Data from one cohort of 7 weeks and one of 12 weeks has been analyzed using SPSS 20 statistical software; two more cohorts of each length will be analyzed prior to September, 2015.


For the seven-week clinical, ANOVA and Tukey post-hoc analyses identify CI final ratings of student performance on Accountability as significantly higher (p = .02) for the WFF, CPI-M test group than for the control group of no WFF, with CPI-M; CI final ratings of student performance on Professional Development are significantly higher (p = .04) for the WFF, CPI-M test group than for the control group of no WFF, with CPI-M; student ratings of CI on SECECI item Clear and Concise Communication are significantly higher (p = .03) for the control group and the test group WFF, no CPI-M than for the WFF, CPI-M test group. For the twelve week clinical, independent sample T-Tests analysis yield no significant between group differences.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education

Between group differences in student accountability and CI communication are logical results of use of the WFF, with its inherent aims of improving bidirectional communication and accountability. The overall lack of significant findings between groups that used CPI-M versus no CPI-M may indicate use of the WFF as a suitable alternative to the CPI-M. Innovation is essential for the future of PT CE. The WFF offers us an example of such innovation, offering an alternate mechanism for students and CIs to grow in accountability and communication beyond what CPI alone - the current standard - affords.


1 Roach KE, et al.Validation of the Revised Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT CPI): Version 2006. Phys Ther. 2012

2 American Physical Therapy Association. Physical Therapist Student Evaluation: Clinical Experience and Clinical Instruction. ©2003
American Physical Therapy Association, Alexandria, VA.

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  • Control #: 2289035
  • Type: Posters
  • Event/Year: ELC2015
  • Authors: Sean Gallivan, Eric Conkel
  • Keywords:

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