Background and Purpose.
The Doctor Of Physical Therapy Education Evidence-Based Practice Curriculum Guidelines were published in March 2014 by the Evidence Based Practice Special Interest Group (EBP SIG) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Section on Research. The EBP Curriculum Guidelines describe the recommended minimum standards for EBP terminal behaviors and define common language and content to integrate throughout a physical therapist (PT) education curriculum. The 3 purposes of this paper are to describe (1) a rationale for adoption of the EBP Curriculum Guidelines by academic programs, (2) the process used to create the Guidelines, and (3) strategies for PT education programs to use the Guidelines for curriculum evaluation, student assessment, and faculty assessment and development.
Position and Rationale.
The EBP Curriculum Guidelines should be considered for adoption by all PT education programs. EBP is an expected and valued skill of PTs. Academic programs have independently determined the breadth and depth of EBP content to integrate into their curricula. EBP paradigms, methods, and resources have evolved over time. The evolution of resources and the variation in program implementation have resulted in variations in curriculum content and student skills. A guideline with expected terminal behavioral objectives and examples of classroom and clinical educational objectives may help to standardize the skill sets of new graduates.
Discussion and Conclusion.
The development process and structure of the EBP Curriculum Guidelines are described to orient readers to the linked document. Strategies for using the Guidelines for curriculum content evaluation, content mapping, timing and levels of student assessment, academic core faculty and clinical faculty preparation, and overall program outcome assessment are briefly reviewed. This consensus document may change as EBP methods or physical therapy core documents evolve; it currently represents an explicit curriculum guideline appropriate for PT education.