Is a students’ ability to critically self-reflect, related to their performance on physiotherapy clinical placements?

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Background. The relationship between students’ reflective ability and performance onphysiotherapy clinical placement is currently unclear.Objectives. To investigate: i) if a relationship exists between students’ critical reflective abilityand performance on physiotherapy clinical placement; and whether these relationships differ byii) Critical reflective task (CRT) rank grade or, iii) by gender.Design. An observational cohort study design.Methods. Critical Reflection Task (CRT) marks and clinical placement (APP) scores from 196(F=94; M=102) post-graduate, entry-level physiotherapy students were analyzed.Results. A significant moderate predictive relationship was found between CRT marks and APPscores (r=.411, p<.001) with the CRT accounting for 16.9% of the variance in APP scores(r2=.169, SEE=12.79). There was a weak positive correlation between ‘CRT rank grade’ and APPscores (rs=.371, p<0.001). Significant differences in APP scores existed between groups basedon ‘CRT rank-grades’ with students achieving a ‘High Distinction’ on CRT achieving significantlyhigher mean APP scores than those in other grade groups. Females had significantly higher meanCRT grades than males (female mean=79.73±13.34%; male mean =76.46±15.09%;t(862.12)=3.38, p=.001). The relationship between CRT and APP was stronger for males thanfemales across all core subjects. CRT grades for males accounted for a higher percentage of thevariance of the APP grades than for females.Conclusions. A significant positive relationship between students’ critical-reflective ability andclinical practice performance (aligned to physiotherapy practice thresholds) exists. Furtherresearch is needed to determine whether facilitating students’ self-reflection skills may enhanceclinical performance for health professional students.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Clinical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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