Title

Gross anatomy education for South African undergraduate physiotherapy students

Document Type

Article

Department

Brain and Mind Institute

Abstract

Eight faculties in South Africa offer undergraduate physiotherapy training with gross anatomy included as a basis for clinical practice. Little information exists about anatomy education for this student body. A 42-question peer-reviewed survey was distributed to physiotherapy gross anatomy course coordinators in all the eight faculties. Seven coordinators from six (75%) of the universities responded. Two respondents' data from the same university were pooled. Collected data show that staff qualifications and experience varied widely and high to average staff to student ratios exist between faculties. Direct anatomy teaching duration was 12.3 (SD ±5.2) weeks per semester. Total number of weeks in courses per faculty was 27.6 (SD ±5.7) varying widely between institutions. Calculable direct contact anatomy hours ranged between 100 and 308 with a mean of 207.6 (SD ±78.1). Direct contact hours in lectures averaged 3.9 (SD ±1.6) per week and the average direct contact hours in practical sessions were 3.5 (SD ±1.8) per week. Dissection, prosection, plastinated models, surface anatomy, and e-learning were available across faculties. Ancillary modalities such as vertical integration and inter-professional learning were in use. All faculties had multiple-choice questions, spot tests, and short examination questions. Half had viva-voce examinations and one had additional long questions assessment. Students evaluated teaching performance in five faculties. Four faculties were reviewing anatomy programs to consider implementing changes to anatomy curriculum or pedagogy. The findings highlighted disparity between programs and also identified the need for specific guidelines to develop a unified South African gross anatomy course for physiotherapy students.

Comments

This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication

Anatomical Sciences Education

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