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Current provision of rheumatology education for undergraduate nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy students in the UK

Almeida, C, Clarke, B, O'Brien, A, Hammond, A, Ryan, S, Kay, L and Hewlett, S 2006, 'Current provision of rheumatology education for undergraduate nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy students in the UK' , Rheumatology, 45 (7) , pp. 868-873.

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Abstract

Objectives. Rheumatological conditions are common and all health professionals (HPs) therefore need sufficient knowledge and skills to manage patients safely and effectively. The aim of this study was to examine current undergraduate education in rheumatology for HPs in the UK. Methods. A questionnaire was sent to curriculum organizers and clinical placement officers for all undergraduate courses in adult nursing, occupational therapy (OT) and physiotherapy (PT) in the UK to ascertain the nature and amount of rheumatology theory and clinical exposure provided. Results. Of the 47 adult nursing, 26 OT and 30 PT undergraduate courses surveyed, 85–90% responded. Overall, rheumatology teaching is 5–10 h over 3 yr. Nursing students receive moderate/in-depth teaching on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in only 52% of courses (OT 91%, PT 96%) and on osteoarthritis (OA) in 63% (OT 91%, PT 92%). Clinical experience of RA is probably/definitely available in only 56% of nursing courses (OT 72%, PT 88%), with similar results in OA. Overall, nursing students receive the least rheumatology exposure, particularly in psychosocial issues and symptom management, while PT students receive the most. OT students have limited opportunities for clinical exposure to psychosocial and joint protection issues. Use of local rheumatology clinical HP experts is variable (18–93%) and cross-disciplinary exposure is limited (0–36%). Many educators consider their rheumatology training to be insufficient (nursing 50%, PT 42%, OT 24%). Conclusions. Rheumatology training for undergraduate HPs is limited in key areas and often fails to take advantage of local clinical expertise, with nursing students particularly restricted. Clinical HP experts should consider novel methods of addressing these shortfalls within the limited curriculum time available.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rheumatology, Education, Undergraduate, Health professionals, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care
Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Rheumatology
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1462-0324
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2010 16:10
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 17:18
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/9349

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