Global health predeparture training for physiotherapy placements in low income countries: Comparing current and best practices
Bessette, Jennifer; Camden, Chantal
Abstract: Purpose: To identify: 1) Predeparture training (PDT) best practices for physiotherapy students participating in a global health experience (GHE) in low income countries, 2) current practices in Canadian physiotherapy programs, and 3) to compare best and current practices. Methods: This study employed a mixed method approach. A scoping review was performed to identify PDT best practices discussed in scientific and grey literature. An online questionnaire surveyed Canadian physiotherapy academic coordinators about their current training practices (questions covered student selection, PDT, on-site training and supervision and debriefing). Qualitative and quantitative analysis were performed for both phases of the study; best practices were compared to current practices. Results: Best practices included recommendations about the content and format of PDT, the organization of GHEs (e.g. focus on sustainability), the student selection process and the support offered to students before, during and after the GHE. Canadian universities have varying practices in terms of content, training format and duration. All universities having GHE have mandatory PDT and an established student selection process; half of them have mandatory debriefing. Conclusion: Discrepancies between current and best practices exist. Next steps should focus on reviewing PDT based on best practices and evaluating impacts on students, universities and partners.
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