A Peer-Led Anatomy Workshop for Improving Anatomy Self-Efficacy in a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
Purpose/Hypothesis: First-year, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students entering a problem-based learning (PBL) program are faced with a number of pedagogical challenges including self-regulated learning, resource unfamiliarity and group dynamics. These challenges can make learning anatomy in a self-directed manner less efficient. Pre-matriculation introduction of strategies to improve anatomy learning in the format of a peer-led anatomy workshop may help prepare students for a rigorous DPT program and improve anatomy learning efficiency. Number of Subjects: This study was completed over the course of 2 consecutive years at the University of the Incarnate Word, School of Physical Therapy, DPT program with 41 subjects in the intervention group and 60 subjects in the control group. Materials and Methods: Each day of the 2-day workshop was divided into a 4-hr morning session of onsite interactive activities led by the peer instructors followed by an online afternoon session of Blackboard modules created to reinforce the learned content from the day. Day 1 of the workshop focused on the lower limb and day 2 followed a similar format but focused on the upper limb. The 4-hr onsite morning session on both days was facilitated by peer instructors to reflect the peer-teaching aspect of PBL with supervision from 2 faculty instructors. Workshop participants completed an anonymous, 10-question survey designed to assess level of anatomy confidence on specific anatomical regions and level of PBL preparedness on a Likert scale at 3 time points, before and after the workshop and upon completion of the first semester in the program. The control group completed the same survey at 2 time points, before and after the first semester. To assess learning during the anatomy workshop, participants completed pre-and post-quizzes on both days of the workshop. To evaluate anatomy specific academic performance and potential workshop carryover, anatomy practical scores from the first 2 practical assessments in the DPT5313 Foundational Sciences I course were collected at the end of the semester. Chi-squared tests were used to compare gender and race/ethnicity of workshop participants and the control group. The incoming grade point average of both groups was compared using an independent-samples t-test to determine potential baseline academic differences. Differences in workshop participants pre-and-post quiz assessment scores were determined by Paired-samples t-tests. Self-reported anatomy confidence and PBL preparedness between the workshop participant and control groups were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by Tukey multiple comparisons post hoc analysis. Multivariate linear regression models were conducted to characterize the predictive relationships between the dependent variables of first semester anatomy practical grades, and the independent variables (gender, ethnicity, GPA, and intervention group). Data were expressed as the mean plus/minus standard deviation (SD) with a value of P < 0.05 considered statistically significant. All analyses were performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software (version 25, SPSS, Inc, Chicago, IL, USA). Results: Significant improvements in anatomy post-quiz scores was observed for each corresponding pre-quiz (p<0.001 for lower and upper limb quizzes). Workshop participants survey responses demonstrated that anatomy confidence and PBL preparedness increased at distinct intervals following the workshop and was significantly higher than controls after the first semester (p<0.01 for anatomy confidence and PBL preparedness). Multivariate regression analyses demonstrated statistically significant relationships between semester anatomy practical scores and workshop participation (p=0.028 for practical 1 and p=0.049 for practical 2). Conclusions: Transition programs can be specifically tailored to address established curricular challenges, utilize minimal resources to develop and provide an effective means to improve graduate outcomes for entering students. Rather than focusing strictly on best pedagogical methods of teaching, an emphasis should be placed on better equipping students for the academic rigor of graduate programs and improving learner self-efficacy. Clinical Relevance: A peer-led anatomy workshop is an effective strategy to improve anatomy learning efficiency and competency early in a rigorous DPT program, which may translate to improved graduate outcomes including clinical reasoning that is reflective of clinical practice.