OBJECTIVE. Problem-based learning (PBL) has been described as an educational method that enhances clinical reasoning skills. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an intensive, problem-based course on the development of clinical reasoning skills of undergraduate occupational therapy students.
METHOD. A quasi-experimental pretest–posttest design was used with a convenience sample of 48 undergraduate seniors. All students participated in an intensive 5-week, 30-hour, PBL course scheduled just prior to Level II fieldwork. The Self-Assessment of Clinical Reflection and Reasoning (SACRR) developed by Royeen, Mu, Barrett, and Luebben (2001) was administered on the first and last days of the course.
RESULTS. The Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test revealed statistically significant differences in pre- and posttest scores for 11 of 26 items on the SACRR. In addition, the overall total score increased from 96.88 to 102.55 (p < .01).
CONCLUSION. The results suggest that a short, but intensive PBL course in the senior year of an occupational therapy curriculum can significantly facilitate the development of students’ clinical reasoning skills.