Comprehensive assessment for clinical readiness, Part II: Outcomes from using the CPI from start to finish in DPT education.


The purpose of this educational session will be to describe outcomes from an innovative assessment of DPT students’ assimilation of classroom-acquired knowledge into clinically-based skills, using the Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI) during both didactic and clinical education within a DPT curriculum. This session will demonstrate that the CPI can be a consistent model for evaluating student progress on behavioral indicators across DPT education, allowing evaluation that bridges the gap between didactic and clinical education. [This session will be the second of a proposed 2-part series.]

Methods and/or Description of Project

We report on outcomes from using the CPI as a framework for assessing students’ skills via comprehensive examinations that are embedded at 4 points throughout our curriculum. Behavioral indicators are progressively assessed at each comprehensive exam, with fewer behavioral indicators assessed early and the full set of behavioral indicators assessed by the final comprehensive exam. Data from one student cohort (N=22) across 4 exams and the first long-term clinical education course will be reported.


Results include (1) tracked student improvement on all behavioral indicators across the curriculum, (2) documentation of student progress on professional behaviors that supports evaluation of clinical readiness at critical points in the didactic curriculum, (3) feedback from clinical instructors to confirm readiness in our students, and (4) identification of curricular needs by tracking student performance as a cohort. We will also report on students identified through this process as needing to progress out of sequence to support development of clinical readiness.

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

The CPI is an effective tool for tracking student performance outcomes related to clinical readiness across the entire DPT curriculum, and should be considered as a valuable framework for evaluating student progress during more than just clinical education. An added benefit of this model is that students are immersed in the language of CPI indicators of successful clinical practice before they reach their final clinical year of training. This model would be applicable with traditional, integrated or hybrid curricular models.


American Physical Therapy Association, (2006) Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument for Students

Gruppen L, Mangrulkar, R, Kolars, J. The promise of competency-based education in the health professions for improving global health. Human Resources for Health 2012; 10:43

Jette U, Nelson L, Palaima M, Wetherbee E, How Do We Improve Quality in Clinical Education?
Examination of Structures, Processes, and Outcomes. Journal of Physical Therapist Education , 2014; 28, Supplement 1

Sass K, Frank L, Thiele A., Newton A, Bork B, Hartung S, Rosenbaum M. Physical therapy Clinical Educators’ Perspectives on Students Achieving Entry-Level Clinical Performance. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 2011; 25(3), pp 46 – 52

Zendejas B, Brydges R, Wang A, Cook D. Patient outcomes in simulation-based medical education: a systematic review. J Gen Intern Med. 2013; 28: 1078-1089

Course Objectives

At the completion of this session, participants will be able to:
1. Evaluate the use of the CPI within didactic or extra-clinical student preparation.
2. Critique the preliminary evidence from one program’s use of this model of embedded student assessment of clinical readiness.
3. Propose application of the CPI within their own curricula to assess both the curricular and the student outcomes.

Instructional Methods

Oral presentation beginning with an overview of model from Part I with intentional highlighting of design for outcomes tracking, followed by discussion of exemplars of student work, and educational, clinical, and professional outcomes; A brief Q&A session that includes sharing of resources developed for this model will conclude this session. [projector and audience microphones needed].

Tentative Outline/Schedule

Tentative Outline/Schedule
0-15 minutes: Review of model and all related components as applied to a traditionally-designed curriculum.

16-45 minutes: Exemplars of student work

46-75 minutes: Summary of data and educational, clinical, and professional outcomes.

76-90 minutes: Q&A and sharing of materials used in this model.

BACK to Abstract Results

  • Control #: 2290652
  • Type: Educational Session
  • Event/Year: ELC2015
  • Authors: Prof. Ann Dietrich, Carrie Truebenbach, Carlynn Alt, Dr. Victoria Moerchen
  • Keywords:

BACK to Abstract Results