Purpose: Cultural competence is an essential skill for healthcare providers in our increasingly ethnically diversified society. There is an unmet need for educating future culturally competent physical therapists. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of pro bono clinic on cultural competence in first-year doctoral physical therapy students. Method: Forty-two participants completed a survey before and after attending three individual sessions of mentored pro bono clinical experiences during their first semester. The survey assessed participants’ attitudes and beliefs (Part I), and self-perceived level of confidence (Part II) towards cultural competence. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were performed. Results: The mean scores increased from pretest (4.13 ± 0.55) to posttest (4.22 ± 0.48) for Part I (5: highest scale) and from 7.34 ± 0.96 to 8.01 ± 0.79 for Part II (10: highest level) but were not significant. Overall findings showed a positive impact which was reflected by students’ narrative comments post-participation (Part III). Conclusion: This study is novel due to limited evidence in this area, especially the effect of an early intervention. Pro bono clinic participation may be an effective approach that could be incorporated early in curriculum across allied health science education.
The authors would like to thank the study participants from the University of Saint Mary DPT program and acknowledge the St. Vincent Clinic, both in Leavenworth, KS.
Morris S, Xia R, Klaassen T, Johnson T. Impact of Pro Bono Clinic on Attitudes, Beliefs, and Confidence Towards Cultural Competence in First-year Doctoral Physical Therapy Students. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2021 Oct 01;19(4), Article 12.