Abstract

Objectives. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a “classroom-as-clinic ”format, using videotaped occupational therapy evaluations, on students’ diagnostic reasoning skills. In the classroom-as-clinic format, students write a problem list on the basis of preliminary client information before viewing the videotape.

Method. A post-hoc experimental design was used to compare the accuracy of treatment plan problem lists for two groups of senior occupational therapy students—one group viewed two videotapes of client-therapist interactions without a classroom-as-clinic format (n = 82), and one group viewed the same videotapes within the context of a classroom-as-clinic format (n = 45). Both groups viewed the same two videotapes. Videotape 1 was of a client with a brain stem infarct, and Videotape 2 was of a client with traumatic brain injury.

Results. Subjects experiencing a classroom-as-clinic format identified significantly more occupational therapy problems for Videotape 1 than those who did not have preevaluation information. There was no significant difference between the two subject groups in the accuracy of their problem lists for Videotape 2. Only subjects in the non-classroom-as-clinic group showed a significant improvement from Videotape 1 to Videotape 2 in occupational therapy problem identification.

Conclusion. This study suggests that to be truly effective when used with videotapes, the classroom-as-clinic methodology needs to be combined with explicit coaching in problem sensing and problem definition.

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