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. 2009 Dec;95(4):266-72.
doi: 10.1016/j.physio.2009.06.003. Epub 2009 Aug 27.

Assessment of Clinical Components of Physiotherapy Undergraduate Education: Are There Any Issues With Gender?

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Assessment of Clinical Components of Physiotherapy Undergraduate Education: Are There Any Issues With Gender?

John A Hammond. Physiotherapy. .

Abstract

Objective: To explore gender differences in assessment of the clinical and portfolio components of physiotherapy undergraduate education.

Design: Retrospective analysis of students' results.

Setting: One London-based university with multiple clinical placement sites in the south-east of England.

Participants: Results of 221 physiotherapy students from three consecutive cohorts over the final 2 years of study.

Outcome measures: Students were assessed using a common assessment form developed in collaboration with 10 partner higher education institutions in the south-east of England as part of the Physiotherapy Placement Information and Management Service. Institution-based marking criteria were developed to assess the reflective portfolio and other assessment in the course.

Results: Male students achieved a mean mark for clinical placements that was 3% lower than that for female students (95% confidence interval 1 to 5%, P=0.001). More specifically, male students achieved a lower mean mark in three out of five placements and portfolio marks in both years (P<0.05). Thirteen percent of male students failed a placement, compared with only 2% of female students.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that there may be some gender issues in assessment in physiotherapy education. Questions are raised about whether assessment methods and, more broadly, the profession is gender biased. Implications for physiotherapy education and professional development are discussed.

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