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Educational Strategy

Use of a Case-Based Blended Educational Session to Improve Physical Therapy Intraprofessional Knowledge and Attitudes


Susan Wenker ,

University of Wisconsin-Madison, US
About Susan
Susan Wenker, PT, PhD, GCS-Emeritus is an Assistant Professor (CHS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. She earned her BS at UW-La Crosse and her Masters and PhD degrees at UW-Madison through the School of Education. She is actively involved in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Academy of Geriatrics (APTA Geriatrics) with a scholarly focus on aging adults, exercise, and PT students’ attitudes and beliefs about dementia. Additionally, she teaches the APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor Course, is an instructor for the APTA Geriatrics Advanced Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults, and has presented on various topics at the local, state, and national level. She has authored several monographs and book chapters. Dr. Wenker serves on multiple committees across the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus that involve teaching and learning and is the current Director of Education in the APTA Geriatrics. Dr. Wenker received the Joan Mills award and Distinguished Educator award in 2020 from the APTA Geriatrics.
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Jane S. Stroede,

Madison College, US
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Jennifer Birstler

University of Wisconsin-Madison, US
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INTRODUCTION Research suggests that physical therapists’ (PT) perceptions of physical therapist assistant (PTA) roles are incongruent with PTAs’ level of training and that these inaccurate perceptions may impede collaborative work. Interprofessional education—learning with, from, and about other students in different professions—results in improved understanding between health profession students and subsequent improved healthcare team function and patient outcomes. Connecting PTs and PTAs during their academic careers can promote improved clinical collaborations, but logistics often prevent these encounters. METHODS We developed a pilot, mixed-methods, blended education intervention with PT and PTA students from local programs to determine if this intervention can positively affect knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of PT and PTA students about each other. A PT and PTA instructor conducted the educational session. PT and PTA students completed pre-readings and met face-to-face for a case-based interactive session regarding state regulatory and supervisory requirements. We evaluated knowledge about state regulations and license requirements using a 6-item pre-post session knowledge quiz about state regulations, attitudes and belief using a pre-post Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Survey, and general session feedback with an electronic post-course feedback survey.RESULTS Knowledge scores significantly improved for PT and PTA students. PT students significantly improved in the “Teamwork and collaboration” Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Survey sub-domain. Qualitative comments were that both groups of students enjoyed interacting and learning about each other’s educational requirements and wanted more time together.
How to Cite: Wenker, S., Stroede, J.S. and Birstler, J., 2021. Use of a Case-Based Blended Educational Session to Improve Physical Therapy Intraprofessional Knowledge and Attitudes. Health, Interprofessional Practice and Education, 4(2), p.eP2122. DOI:
Published on 08 Mar 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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