The Paediatric Physiotherapy curricula landscape: a survey of United Kingdom entry-level programs

Paul Chesterton, Jennifer Chesterton

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Background and Purpose: To identify the paediatric curriculum content covered in entry-level physiotherapy programs within the United Kingdom (UK), and report faculties perceived importance. Strengths, weaknesses, barriers and facilitators, to the implementation of paediatric content were explored. Methods: A cross-sectional online questionnaire captured entry-level physiotherapy programme leaders' perceptions of paediatric programs. Results: Fifty-five responses were submitted, providing a 67% completion rate. Faculty perceived that students' felt the inclusion of paediatric content within the curricula was ‘Important’ (Mean 3.60 ± SD 0.74). Of 30 diagnoses surveyed, only two were covered ‘Well’ within curriculums, despite 23 rated at least ‘Important’ by respondents. Of the 18 assessment/examination components, 13 were covered ‘Well’ with five ‘Somewhat’. All were considered to be at least ‘Important’. Perceived strengths were grouped into three main categories (1) integrated/lifespan approach, (2) links to clinical specialists, and (3) a broad/detailed curriculum. Perceived weaknesses included curriculum time pressures and paediatric placement availability. Discussion: The majority of paediatric conditions were only somewhat covered by UK curriculums, despite respondents in the main believing they should be an important element of the entry-level syllabus. Some UK physiotherapy entry-level students may not be exposed to any paediatric teaching or clinical placements.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2012
JournalPhysiotherapy Research International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2023


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