The Big Physio Survey - Example of Education 3

Keywords

Gait analysis, Education, Assessment, Technology

Who or what is my case report based on?

A presentation of the use of the GaitRite system for teaching gait analysis to year 1 pre-registration physiotherapy students.

What is the physiotherapy event or episode of care?

This is a ninety minute practical tutorial with 24 students in the physiotherapy gymnasium at the University campus.

What were the aims of the physiotherapy event or episode of care?

The aim of the practical session was to achieve the learning outcomes of the tutorial. By the end of the session, students will be expected:

  1. To be able to describe the spatio-temporal measures of gait.
  2. To be able to explain the normative values of the spatio-temporal measures of gait.
  3. To be able to discuss the value of the GaitRite system as a gait analysis tool.

What did I do?

The session started with a theoretical introduction to the Gait Rite system given by the tutor. Using one volunteer student, the tutor then demonstrated the GaitRite system. The student walked along the GaitRite walkway while the instrument captured his/her gait features. The instrument analysed the spatio-temporal features of gait in real time and stores the data.
Students then collected data independently working in small groups of 3-4. Each student carried out an assessment as if they were the "patient" and the rest of the group acted as assessors collecting gait data. Whilst one group worked with the GaitRite system, the other student groups were carrying out other standardised gait analysis assessments using tape measures and stop watches. All assessments and data were collated for the 24 students. The students collated the data with the help of the tutor. The tutorial progressed to a large group discussion on the normative values collected and the advantages and limitations of the use of the GaitRite in clinical practice. The session concluded with a discussion comparing the GaitRite analysis with other standardised methods of gait analysis.

What was the outcome or effect?

All students participated fully in the session. Student feedback was very positive. Students' learning within the session was assessed as part of the module examination. Students' knowledge and use of the GaitRite system and other methods of gait analysis were tested in a viva that formed part of an examination. The results were good with a cohort mean of Grade C.

Why did I do this?

Learning about gait analysis aligns to the programme learning outcomes. Understanding of gait is a core skill for physiotherapists and in the light of the need to use evidence based practice it is essential that students understand the need for and application of objective measurement of gait.