Event Title

Do Educational Experiences Influence Interest in Rural Practice?

Speaker's Credentials

Tawna Wilkinson, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS;

Shari Rone-Adams, PT, MHSA, DBA;

Annlee Burch, PT, MS, MPH, EdD;

Rebecca Rosenthal, PT, MS, DPT, JD

Location

Atrium

Format

Poster

Start Date

21-1-2017 11:45 AM

End Date

21-1-2017 12:15 PM

Abstract

Introduction: Several factors related to rural practice interest have been investigated in the healthcare professions. Only rural upbringing has conclusively been found to be a factor contributing to rural practice interest. Little research investigating rural practice interest encompassing physical therapy students exists. Questions remain as to which encounters are optimal for influencing student interest in rural practice. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate if student clinical experiences in rural areas influence practice interest in these areas. Methodology: Forty students from 5 programs completed the pre/post survey. Inclusion criteria included programs with students completing learning experiences in rural areas. Students meeting the inclusion criteria were asked to complete a survey prior to and immediate following their educational experience. The SOMERS Index of Rural Career Choice Likelihood was used. Spearman Rho Rank Correlation, analysis of variance, and regression modeling were completed. Results: Individuals completing an experience in a rural area more frequently designated a positive change in interest (52.2%) compared to negative (26.1%). Those participating in an experience 2-months or longer more frequently designated a positive (55.0%) versus negative (30.0%) change. Years of living in a rural environment was associated with student interest in working in a rural environment. Overall, student experiences were not significantly linked to interest in practicing in a rural area. Conclusion: Academic programs should consider what current education is offered to expose students to rural practice in the classroom, community, and clinic. Clinical experiences of longer length may be beneficial in eliciting a positive change in practice interest.

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Jan 21st, 11:45 AM Jan 21st, 12:15 PM

Do Educational Experiences Influence Interest in Rural Practice?

Atrium

Introduction: Several factors related to rural practice interest have been investigated in the healthcare professions. Only rural upbringing has conclusively been found to be a factor contributing to rural practice interest. Little research investigating rural practice interest encompassing physical therapy students exists. Questions remain as to which encounters are optimal for influencing student interest in rural practice. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate if student clinical experiences in rural areas influence practice interest in these areas. Methodology: Forty students from 5 programs completed the pre/post survey. Inclusion criteria included programs with students completing learning experiences in rural areas. Students meeting the inclusion criteria were asked to complete a survey prior to and immediate following their educational experience. The SOMERS Index of Rural Career Choice Likelihood was used. Spearman Rho Rank Correlation, analysis of variance, and regression modeling were completed. Results: Individuals completing an experience in a rural area more frequently designated a positive change in interest (52.2%) compared to negative (26.1%). Those participating in an experience 2-months or longer more frequently designated a positive (55.0%) versus negative (30.0%) change. Years of living in a rural environment was associated with student interest in working in a rural environment. Overall, student experiences were not significantly linked to interest in practicing in a rural area. Conclusion: Academic programs should consider what current education is offered to expose students to rural practice in the classroom, community, and clinic. Clinical experiences of longer length may be beneficial in eliciting a positive change in practice interest.