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Establishing the Reliability of a Tool for Assessing Israeli Physical Therapy Students' Clinical Performance

Schwartz, Donny BPT, MSc; Jacob, Tamar PhD, MPH, PT

Journal of Physical Therapy Education: September 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 3 - p 243–248
doi: 10.1097/JTE.0000000000000093
RESEARCH REPORT
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Introduction. The evaluation of students' abilities in the clinical setting requires the use of a valid and reliable assessment tool. The assessment tool currently used for this purpose in all physical therapy (PT) undergraduate programs in Israel has never been evaluated for these parameters. This study aimed to find an established assessment tool, translate it into Hebrew, and determine the inter-rater reliability of the translated version and whether it could be a viable substitute for the currently used assessment tool.

Review of the Literature. Revealed that the Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice (APP) is an established, valid, and reliable assessment tool.

Subjects. Assessors: 21 clinical educators; assessed: 30 undergraduate PT students.

Methods. The APP was translated into Hebrew using the translation–retranslation method. Clinical educators were briefly trained to use the APP before the study. Following 8 weeks of clinical practice in an assigned outpatient clinic, each student was assessed by 2 clinical educators, each of whom used both the APP and the currently used assessment tool. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to measure the inter-rater reliability of the APP. Cronbach's alpha was used to measure the internal consistency of the sections of the APP. Percentage of agreement between assessors was measured for each item.

Results. The ICC for the total APP was 0.88 (95% confidence interval: 0.77–0.94). The internal consistency of APP sections ranged from 0.65 to 0.93 Cronbach's alpha. Exact agreement between assessors on 12 of the 20 items was identical in 63% or more occasions.

Discussion and Conclusion. The ICC for the total score on the Hebrew APP was similar to that of the original APP, and the percentage of agreement among assessors was slightly lower than that of the original version. The latter may be due to the educators' limited experience with this assessment tool. The inter-rater reliability and validity of the Hebrew APP established it as a good substitute for the currently used assessment tool.

Donny Schwartz is the Physical Therapist and Clinical Educator at the Clalit HMO Outpatient Orthopedic Clinic, Mevo Choron, P.O.B. 173, Jerusalem, Israel 99765 (donnympt@gmail.com). Please address all correspondence to Donny Schwartz.

Tamar Jacob is the Head of Master's Program in Physical Therapy at the Physical Therapy Department, Ariel University.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Received May 10, 2018

Accepted December 03, 2018

Copyright 2019 © Academy of Physical Theraphy Education
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