To evaluate effects of an intra-professional educational experience utilizing the SBAR communication tool on perceptions of PTA roles and collaborative competency in DPT and PTA students.
Thirty nine DPT and twenty five PTA students received a synchronous online lecture on the Role of the PTA. This was followed by an online interactive training session on the use of the SBAR (Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation) tool and an orientation to simulation cases housed on the EHRgo platform. Groups of 3 or 4 students (DPT: PTA = 2:1 or 2:2) were assigned to virtually manage the care of two concurrent patient cases during a remote simulation event that followed three days later. Students were required to plan their examination strategy and/or PT intervention, appropriately delegate a patient, collaborate to manage an unexpected patient problem, and effectively communicate as an interprofessional team member with patients and other health care professionals. Students used the SBAR tool to organize and streamline their communication. Using a pretest - posttest design, all students completed the PTA Roles Survey prior to the initial didactic session and again, after completion of the simulation experience. This tool was modified with permission from the original author to reflect the current New Jersey PT Practice Act. To capture perceived ability to collaborate and communicate with others, students also completed the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Survey (ICCAS). Pre and post test data from the PTA Roles Survey will be analyzed using independent and paired samples t- tests to detect signiÞcant differences in correct response rates between and within the two student cohorts (p < .05). Mann Whitney and Wilcoxen tests will be used to investigate responses for each individual item on that survey. In the same manner, these nonparametric tests will also be used to analyze the Likert type ordinal data from the ICCAS (p < .05).
Our 2019 pilot study found a statistically significant increase in DPT student post test scores on a PTA roles test (p < .02). 89% of participants strongly agreed/agreed that a case-based simulation experience contributed to their ability to practice collaboratively, and 88% strongly agreed/agreed that it improved their communication skills. Unfortunately, COVID 19 forced us to postpone the 2020 DPT Ð PTA experience until mid April. Data analysis from the event has begun and is projected to be completed in May.
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme:
This study contributes evidence towards best practices for PT - PTA intraprofessional education with a specific focus on team roles and communication.The innovative instructional design features a synchronous online videoconferencing platform and case based simulations using electronic medical health records. This mirrors contemporary practice and has the potential to facilitate student competency in the provision of collaborative, patient centered care within the expanding telehealth arena. In addition, the remote telecommunication methods used provide an economical framework to promote collaboration between programs that may be geographically isolated or distanced.