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Evaluation of the clinical effectiveness of a work-based mentoring programme to develop clinical reasoning on patient outcome: A stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial

Williams, Aled, Rushton, Alison, Lewis, James ORCID: and Phillips, Ceri 2019. Evaluation of the clinical effectiveness of a work-based mentoring programme to develop clinical reasoning on patient outcome: A stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial. PLoS ONE 14 (7) , e0220110. 10.1371/journal.pone.0220110

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Background Despite persistent calls to measure the effectiveness of educational interventions on patient outcomes, few studies have been conducted. Within musculoskeletal physiotherapy, the effects of clinical mentoring on postgraduate physiotherapists have been explored, but its impact on patient outcomes is unknown. The objective of this trial was to assess the effectiveness of a work-based mentoring programme to facilitate physiotherapist clinical reasoning on patient outcomes. Methods In a stepped-wedge cluster RCT in the musculoskeletal physiotherapy outpatient depart�ments of a large NHS organisation, 16 physiotherapists were randomised by cluster to receive the intervention—150 hours of mentored clinical practice—at one of 3 time periods; control was usual training. 441 patients submitted outcome measures: Patient-Specific Functional Scale (PSFS) (primary outcome measure), EQ-5D-5L, patient activation and patient satisfaction (secondary outcome measures). A further secondary outcome measure of physiotherapist performance was collected by an independent assessor observing the physiotherapists practice. Results 80.0% of intervention patients achieved clinically significant PSFS scores compared with 63.8% of control patients. Binary logistic regression analysis modelling for time, cluster and patient characteristics showed strong statistical evidence for this difference (p = 0.023; odds ratio 4.24, 95%CI 1.22, 14.79). Physiotherapist performance scores improved from a mean of 47.8% (SD 3.60) pre-intervention to a mean of 56.0% (SD 4.24) (p<0.001). There was no statistical evidence for differences between groups on other secondary outcomes. Conclusion This is the first study that we aware of that provides patient outcomes measurement of an established educational intervention in physiotherapy, providing evidence that this type of intervention positively impacts patient outcomes and physiotherapist performance. This provides a basis for further research in education across other healthcare disciplines and outcome measures.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 July 2021
Date of Acceptance: 9 July 2019
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 19:51

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