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Examining the Competency of Recent Graduates of an Orthotics and Prosthetics Training Program

Boe, Bronwen E., BS; Gardner, Aimee K., PhD

JPO: Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics: January 2019 - Volume 31 - Issue 1 - p 16–22
doi: 10.1097/JPO.0000000000000218
ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLES
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Introduction The purpose of this study was to assess perceived competence of graduates of an orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) master's program.

Method Recent graduates and their supervisors completed a survey adapted from the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC) Practice.

Analysis of Certified Practitioners in the Disciplines of Orthotics and Prosthetics, with each group rating graduate ability to independently perform 66 items along the categories of the following: “patient assessment,” “formulation of treatment plan,” “implementation of treatment plan,” “follow-up of treatment plan,” “practice management,” and “promotion of professional practice” on a 1-to-7 scale (1, unable to perform independently; 7, can independently perform). Supervisors also indicated the extent to which graduates met expectations of competency. Basic descriptive and independent-sample t-tests were used to analyze data.

Results Overall competency mean was 5.78 ± 1.01 for graduates (n = 25; 74% response rate) and 5.39 ± 0.74 for supervisors (n = 16; 53% response rate). Means for each category were similar between groups. Implementation of the treatment plan had the most items with significant differences between groups. These differences emerged in tasks related to patient shape capture method and device setup. All supervisors agreed that graduate competency met expectations or was exceptional.

Conclusions Both graduates and supervisors agree on high levels of competency across all competency areas defined by certification bodies. Opportunities exist to enhance curricula related to implementation of treatment plan.

BRONWEN E. BOE is affiliated with the School of Health Professions, Orthotics and Prosthetics Program, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

AIMEE K. GARDNER, PHD is affiliated with the School of Health Professions, Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence to: Aimee K. Gardner, PhD, School of Health Professions, Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, BCM115, DeBakey Bldg, M108K, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030; email: aimee.gardner@bcm.edu

© 2019 by the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.