Factors affecting physiotherapy clinical education in the United Arab Emirates: Perceptions of students and clinical educator
Background Clinical education is the cornerstone of physiotherapy education. Clinical educators play a pivotal role in shaping students' attitude towards their future role as physiotherapist. But the implementation of physiotherapy clinical education varies significantly between institutions. Research has shown several factors influencing the clinical education. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the factors affecting physiotherapy clinical education in the United Arab Emirates
... ). Methods This research used mixed-methods approach and recruited participants through purposive and convenience sampling. Data was collected through a survey using questionnaire and face-to-face interviews. Thirty-four physiotherapy students completed a questionnaire after attending 12 weeks of clinical placements. Twenty-six clinical educators and 9 students participated in the interview. Descriptive statistics including frequency percentage, median and percentiles were used for quantitative data analysis. Thematic analysis method was used for qualitative data analysis. Results Quantitative study found greater student satisfaction in clinical education. But the qualitative study identified several factors affecting clinical education in the context of this study. These factors include student interest, learning style, culture, and ability to cope with challenges. In addition, clinical educator workload, teaching strategies, curriculum knowledge, academic-clinical partnership, peer learning, placement model and expectations were the other factors that influenced physiotherapy clinical education within the UAE. Conclusions The findings of this study are useful to physiotherapy clinical educators, students, and faculty. It provides insight into various factors affecting physiotherapy clinical education. Furthermore, it recommends evidence-based strategies to neutralize those factors influencing clinical education.