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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Does UK entry-level Physiotherapy Education prepare graduates for a future in Pediatric Clinical Practice? A mixed-methods study

Chesterton, Paul and Chesterton, Jennifer (2024) Does UK entry-level Physiotherapy Education prepare graduates for a future in Pediatric Clinical Practice? A mixed-methods study. Physical & Occupational Therapy In Pediatrics. Tyne and Wear. ISSN 0194-2638 (In Press)

Item Type: Article


Aims: Identify the perceptions and experiences of how UK entry-level programs educationally prepared pediatric physiotherapists for their first clinical role. Review the extent programs taught essential, recommended, and additional content as per the International Organisation of Physical Therapists in Pediatrics (IOPTP).
Methods: Mixed methods design involving qualified UK pediatric physiotherapists. Forty-two physiotherapist completed an online questionnaire and 9 (21%) completed a follow-up semi-structured interview. .
Results: All 42 respondents felt they were ‘Not Well’ (median 2, IQR 1.75-2.75) prepared for clinical practice. Not enough curricula emphasis was given to pediatric content (100%), with 31% (n=13, CI 95% 19 to 46) reporting no pediatric content throughout their program. Only 15 (36%, 23 to 51) respondents experienced a pediatric placement. Themes from the follow-up interviews were 1) UK programs are adult focussed, 2) placements are the only meaningful opportunity to develop competency, 3) programs lacked non-clinical content, and 4) experiencing pediatric patients was overwhelming due poor preparation. The majority of the IOPTP curriculum guidance is not embedded within UK curriculums.
Conclusions: Respondents reported they were not well prepared for pediatric clinical practice. Some entry-level programs did not include any pediatric teaching throughout the entirety of the course.
Keywords: Physiotherapy, Pediatric, Curriculum, Entry-level, University

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Depositing User: Jen Chesterton


Item ID: 17549
Identification Number: IPOP (2338934)
ISSN: 0194-2638
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Paul Chesterton: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2024 15:20
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2024 15:21


Author: Paul Chesterton ORCID iD
Author: Jennifer Chesterton

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Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing


Sciences > Health Sciences

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