Objective: To compare chiropractic students' perceptions of preparedness for practice before and after a clinical placement in Rarotonga and to report demographics from these experiences.
Methods: The students completed deidentified pre- and postplacement surveys assessing pediatric practice preparedness. Students tallied the patient numbers, age, and chiropractic techniques used per visit for each day of clinic placement. On completion of the program, participating students (27/34, or 79% of the student cohort) did a postplacement survey on their perception of practice preparedness. Data were analyzed with the Spearman rho correlation, the Mann-Whitney U test, and regression analysis.
Results: There was an increase in perceived preparedness for pediatric practice, ranging from 24.1% of the student cohort at the start of the study to 82.1% following clinical placement in Rarotonga. The change in student preparedness to practice with children was positively correlated with the total number of children managed (rs = .05, p = .01) and the number of children managed who were under 10 years of age (rs = .60, p = .001). Multiple regression analysis demonstrated a medium positive effect for postprogram preparedness (F [4, 20] = 3.567, p = .024).
Conclusion: Clinical outreach to Rarotonga provided a broad case mix of patients and a change in student perceptions of preparedness to practice with children, which was positively affected by the total number of children managed and the number of children managed who were under 10 years of age.
Author keywords: Chiropractic, Education, Pediatrics, Surveys and Questionnaires
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