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Effectiveness of the emergency response course in improving student physical therapists' and licensed physical therapists' decision-making related to acute sports injuries and medical conditions

Effectiveness of the emergency response course in improving student physical therapists' and licensed physical therapists' decision-making related to acute sports injuries and medical conditions

International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 8(3): 277-289

To analyze the effectiveness of the American Red Cross Emergency Response Course (ARC ERC) in improving decision-making skills of physical therapists (PTs) and third semester clinical doctorate student physical therapists (SPTs) when assessing acute sports injuries and medical conditions. An existing questionnaire was modified, with permission from the original authors of the instrument. The questionnaire was administered to PTs and SPTs before the start of and immediately after the completion of 5 different ARC ERCs. The overall percentages of "Appropriate" responses for the 17 case scenarios were calculated for each participant for the pre-and post-tests. Participants also rated their perceived level of preparedness for managing various conditions using a 5-point Likert Scale (ranging from Prepared to Unprepared). The overall percentage of "Prepared/Somewhat Prepared" responses for the 16 medical conditions was calculated for each participant for the pre-and post-tests. In addition, mean Likert scale scores were calculated for level of perceived preparedness for each of the 16 medical conditions. Paired t-tests, calculated with SPSS 20.0, were used to analyze the data. 37 of 37 (100.0%) of eligible PTs and 45 of 48 (93.8%) of eligible SPTs completed the pre- and post-test questionnaires. The percentage of "Appropriate" responses for all 17 cases in the aggregate (PTs: 76.8% pre-test, 89.0% post-test; SPTs: 68.5%, 84.3%), as well as the percentage of "Prepared/Somewhat Prepared" responses for all conditions in the aggregate (PTs: 67.5%, 96.5%; SPTs: 37.1%, 90.6%) were significantly different from pre-test to post-test (P = .000). There was also a significant difference (P < .05) in the mean overall preparedness Likert scale scores from pre-test to post-test for each medical condition for the SPT's, and 15 of the 16 medical conditions (muscle strains: P = .119) for the PTs. The ARC ERC appears to be effective in improving both PTs' and SPTs' decision-making skills related to acute sports injuries and medical conditions, as both "Appropriate" responses and perceived level of preparedness improved. Level 3.

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Accession: 052845469

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PMID: 23772344

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