Objective: Chiropractic programmes adopt service-learning outreach placements to facilitate, among other traits, student communication and interaction skills, social responsibility and a philosophy of caring. This mixed-methods study describes the extent to which students believed a service-learning clinical immersion placement met these objectives.
Methods: Students (n=42) in the fifth and final year of a 5-year chiropractic undergraduate program spent at least ten afternoon sessions per trimester at a residential therapeutic community outreach placement. Most of the students (91%) completed the Service Experience Questionnaire (SEQ), a survey instrument consisting of a number of closed-ended items, as well as open-ended qualitative reflections after their experience.
Results: A majority (92%) felt that the experience was educational. This placement also enhanced students’ awareness of others in need (92%), that the placement highlighted the importance of respect for all people (95%), empathy for the disadvantaged (84%), and provided them with an opportunity to improve their communication skills (87%).
Conclusion: These results support the utility of an outreach clinical placement to help meet the educational objectives of the chiropractic undergraduate programme.
Author keywords: Chiropractic; Empathy; Learning; Methods; Perception; Social Responsibility; Students; Therapeutic Community; Vulnerable Population
Author affiliation: Private Practice (Australia / Western Australia / Mount Hawthron)
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