Beyond PICO, CAT Walks, and Journal Clubs, Cinematography Connects Students to EBP


Purpose/Hypothesis: Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students involved in the humanities demonstrate a greater understanding of evidence-based practice (EBP) in physical therapy. This study explored how the addition of a movie recounting the story of Drs. Vivian Thomas and Alfred Blalock’s research on blue babies influenced students’ perceptions of research during a course on EBP. The purpose of this study was to examine how the influence of humanities through cinematography influenced professional beliefs of DPT students toward research in a course on EBP.


Number of Subjects: 32 DPT Students enrolled in a course on EBP for healthcare professionals.

Materials/Methods: Phenomenological methods explored the lived experience of DPT students engaging in an assignment utilizing cinematography in a course on EBP for healthcare professionals. Students (n=32) completed reflective questionnaires about the experience of viewing a movie entitled “Something the Lord Made.” This movie explores the research process involved in finding a cure for blue baby syndrome. Data were analyzed for common themes and coded into categories. Writing samples from the students on day one regarding what is good research were also compared with written definitions on the last day of the EBP course after watching the movie. Discourse analysis was used to compare how the definitions evolved after viewing the movie.


Results: After viewing the movie, students were able to: 1) Describe the relationship between professionalism, EBP, and research; 2) Articulate how personal conceptions of research were changing; and 3) Define what good research is. All students reported gaining a deeper understanding of the ethical, social, political, and economic implications of conducting research.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education

Conclusions: The arts and humanities provide opportunities for deep connections to new ways of thinking. Students commented on the power of cinema and movies to help articulate ideas on how professionalism, EBP, and research are important in physical therapy. DPT students were able to describe how personal conceptions of research were changing after viewing this movie. Finally, students were also able to provide a more detailed definition of what good research entails compared to the first day of class.

Clinical & Conference Relevance: Through humanities via a film experience, students were able to articulate the benefits and challenges of EBP. Students also gained a greater understanding of the social, political, and economic challenges of EBP.


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  • Control #: 2749236
  • Type: Posters
  • Event/Year: ELC2017
  • Authors: Dr. Susan Klappa, Eric Strong, Brian Wienk, Matt Dewald, Dr. Heidi Nelson, Patrick Hauer, Jason Adams, Patrick Cross, Meggen Lloyd
  • Keywords:

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