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Entry-level doctor of physiotherapy in Nigeria: program readiness evaluation

Author: 
Joseph A. Balogun, Adetoyeje Y. Oyeyemi and Adetutu O. Balogun
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

This exploratory study was designed to ascertain whether the existing physiotherapy programs in Nigeria have the infrastructures and institutional support needed to initiate an entry-level Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT) program. A secondary objective was to evaluate whether the level of readiness to implement the program is influenced by the regional location of the university and the year of debut of the existing baccalaureate degree programs. The Heads of Department of Physiotherapy programs that have produced physiotherapists (N=7) completed a questionnaire that sought information on (1) program demographic characteristics, human/physical/financial resources, instrumentation, library subscriptions and institutional support available; and (2) thirty specific contents currently taught in the undergraduate curriculum. The respondents unanimously (100%) indicated that they have an adequate number of qualified clinicians (not lecturers) to supervise students in the hospital/private clinic and community settings. On the other hand, only 29% of the respondents indicated that their programs have adequate state of the art physiotherapy equipment, a current subscription to physiotherapy journals, and adequate research laboratories; only 43% of the respondents felt they are currently adequately funded to operate their program effectively. The respondents also unanimously indicated that 56% of the “gold” standard DPT curriculum contents are taught in the baccalaureate degree program. Paradoxically, only 14% of the respondents indicated that women’s health, EKG interpretation, autism, nutrition and differential physiotherapy diagnosis are currently taught in the undergraduate program. In addition, only 29% of the respondents indicated that laser biostimulation therapy, private practice and home health, direct access and independent practice are currently taught. The vast majority (71%) of the programs surveyed indicated interest in starting a DPT program within 1 to 5 years. Nnamdi Azikiwe University and the University of Lagos are the two top institutions primed to implement the DPT program. The University of Nigeria at Nsukka is the least prepared institution. The result of the Shapiro-Wilk test revealed that the program demographic and readiness outcome data monitored in this study were neither skewed nor kurtotic. The Levene's test also confirmed the population variances to be equal. The independent student t-test revealed that the location of the academic programs (Northern vs Southern States) and the year of debut of the baccalaureate program (First and Second generations) did not significantly (p>.05) impact the entry-level DPT readiness outcomes.

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