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Abstract

Purpose: To increase the clinical competence of novice physical and occupational therapists, an accurate assessment of their clinical competence is necessary. However, no previous study has objectively analyzed the changes in novice therapists’ clinical competence in Japan. Hence, this study investigated and evaluated the changes in the clinical competence of such therapists using an objective analysis. Method: The study included 34 novice therapists with 1–3 years of experience in clinical practice. Participants were divided into groups according to their years of experience. The clinical competence of the novice therapists was evaluated twice using a clinical competency evaluation scale. For comparison among the 3 groups, the scores of the first evaluation were used. For comparison within each experience-year, the scores from both evaluations were used. Results: A comparison of the 3 groups showed that therapists with 3 years of clinical experience had significantly higher clinical competence than therapists with 1 year of clinical experience. Between the first and second evaluations, all therapists with 1 year of clinical experience demonstrated increased scores, whereas scores decreased by approximately 50% for therapists with 2–3 years of clinical experience. Conclusion: These findings suggest that it is necessary to increase educational opportunities for therapists with 2−3 years of clinical experience and re-examine the content of their education and training.

Author Bio(s)

Hiroaki Sakurai, RPT, PhD is a professor of Faculty of Rehabilitation, Fujita Health University in Japan.

Soichiro Koyama, RPT, PhD is a senior assistant professor of Faculty of Rehabilitation, Fujita Health University in Japan.

Shigeo Tanabe, RPT, PhD is a associate professor of Faculty of Rehabilitation, Fujita Health University in Japan.

Kazuya Takeda, RPT, PhD is a assistant professor of Faculty of Rehabilitation, Fujita Health University in Japan.

Yoshikiyo Kanada, RPT, PhD is a professor of Faculty of Rehabilitation, Fujita Health University in Japan.

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