A Compendium for Teaching Professional Level Physical Therapy Neurologic Content, v. 2016

History and Background

The original Compendium for Teaching Professional Level Physical Therapy Neurologic Content was published by the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association in 2000.  A Task Force chaired by Margaret Schenkman, PhD, PT and Kathleen M. Gill-Body, MS, PT, NCS, developed a Compendium framework, and solicited, edited, and selected learning activities to serve as resources for new and experienced physical therapy educators.

More recently, the Academy developed and made available Neurologic Entry-Level Teaching Curricular Content Guidelines (2011). These Guidelines paralleled APTA’s “A Normative Model of Physical Therapist Professional Education” v. 2004, so that faculty could easily integrate essential neurologic content within a DPT curriculum. The Guidelines listed primary neurologic content, as well as examples of learning objectives for the classroom and clinic. Further, members of the Guidelines Development Group recommended an update of the Compendium using the structure from the Content Guidelines.

Academy leaders resolved to tackle this update as part of the 2012-2016 Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy Strategic Plan.  Revision of the Compendium was intended to meet the overall goal of “Solicit, create, deliver, and evaluate innovative and accessible educational offerings to promote evidence-based neurologic physical therapy practice”.  Jody Cormack, PT, DPT, MS Ed, NCS and Sue Perry, PT, DPT, were appointed as Co-Chairs of this initiative.

Submission and Review Process

In June 2015, an open call for learning activities was placed via the Neuropt listserve; a letter to American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) members; and the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy electronic newsletter.  In particular, submissions were sought that:

  • promoted active learning and analytical thinking at the Doctoral level;
  • utilized creative and modern teaching strategies; and
  • prepared practitioners for the dynamic health care climate in the coming years.

The call remained open through October 2015, with over 80 original learning activities submitted.  A committee of reviewers was appointed by the Academy and included: Jill Heitzman, PT, DPT, GCS, NCS, CWS, CEEAA, FACCWS; Cindy Zablotny, PT, DPT, NCS; J.J. Mowder-Tinney PT, PhD, NCS, CSRS, CEEAA; Anne Kloos, PT, PhD, NCS; and Katherine Mercuris, PT, DHS.  Each learning activity was reviewed by one committee member and a Compendium co-chair.  Learning activities were returned to authors with suggestions for revisions, and 70 activities were resubmitted by January 2016.

Purpose and Suggested Use

The purpose of the Compendium is to provide examples of high quality teaching and learning strategies that have been developed and refined by the contributors.  Some activities include detailed patient cases and/or grading rubrics, which can be difficult and time-consuming to write. These will be useful for novice faculty who are seeking innovative ways to deliver content.  In addition, experienced educators will find new ideas and alternative teaching strategies.  Each learning activity is categorized as one or more of the following:

  • linking clinical and foundational sciences
  • movement/task analysis
  • patient/client management (multiple elements)
  • examination/evaluation/diagnosis
  • outcome measurement
  • prognosis/plan of care/intervention
  • prevention and wellness
  • management of care delivery

In addition, learning activities may be categorized as follows:

  • labs
  • integrated clinical experience (ICE)/community based
  • interprofessional education (IPE)
  • application – standardized patients, simulated mannequin
  • flipped learning activities
  • evaluative grading rubric.

While some of the activities are diagnosis-specific, many can be adapted for a variety of diagnoses.

Educators may freely adapt or adopt the learning activities.  Please include the statement: Reprinted with permission of the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, Inc., and acknowledge the original author/contributors.

Future Directions

It is our hope that the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy regularly publishes updates of the Compendium in the future, as clinical practice and pedagogical approaches evolve.  A comparison of the 2000 and 2016 versions of the document illustrates a multitude of changes in language, clinical practice, and teaching innovations, and we have every reason to expect that such changes will continue.

Jody Cormack, PT, DPT, MS Ed, NCS
Sue Perry, PT, DPT, MS

Compendium v.2016   Co-chairs

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