Health professions educators are advocating for curricular changes to better prepare graduates for contemporary practice in an increasingly complex and interdependent world. No framework for the integration of a global health
perspective into physical therapist
(PT) education exists. A previous study proposed 33 global health
competencies (GHCs) for PT education; however, participants' comments suggested the need for additional revisions to ensure entry-level relevance to PT education. The purpose of this study was to delineate GHCs relevant to all entry-level PT education in the United States.
Current full-time US-based PT faculty participated. The 2-phase nonexperimental study utilized focus group and Delphi survey methodologies. In phase 1, 4 participants in a focus group revised the 33 GHCs from the previous study. In phase 2, 19 participants were asked (via 3 rounds of an online Delphi survey) whether the revised competencies were relevant to all entry-level PT education. Competencies with at least 80% consensus within any round were deemed relevant.
In phase 1, participants made changes to 17 competencies, eliminated 2, and suggested 3 new ones, leaving 30 to advance. In phase 2, 6 competencies were rejected and 24 were accepted as relevant to entry-level PT education in the United States.
Discussion and Conclusion.
Participants readily accepted GHCs with content similar to current PT education accreditation standards, such as social determinants of health, cultural competency, and effective communication. Additional accepted GHCs pertained to strategies for low-resource settings, organizations and agreements, and public health concerns. The delineated GHCs may be used as a standardized framework to integrate a global health
perspective into PT curricula.