Variability exists in pediatric training in physical therapy programs. Little is known about educator implementation of curriculum recommendations. Few options exist for evaluating student outcomes following pediatric instruction.
The purposes of this study are to describe the pediatric curriculum of a physical therapy program, quantify changes in self-efficacy following pediatric instruction, and define relationships between self-efficacy, prior experience, and interest in future pediatric practice.
A prospective cohort study included 48 students. Measures were pediatric content hours, the Pediatric Communication and Handling Self-Efficacy Scale, prior experience, and self-reported interest in future pediatric practice.
Pediatric content hours followed published recommendations. There was a significant increase in self-efficacy after pediatric instruction. Prior experience and interest in future pediatric practice were significantly related to self-efficacy.
Our results indicate that physical therapy programs reaching the recommended content hours for pediatric instruction support growth in student communication and handling self-efficacy.