Problem-based learning: A review of current issues relevant to physiotherapy education
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This article reviews the development of problem-based learning (PBL) over the past decade within the context of physiotherapy practice. Although there is an emerging literature in physiotherapy, the research is primarily from medical education. Some of the original claims of superiority of PBL in developing problem-solving and self-directed learning skills have not been supported. Results from studies comparing traditional and PBL curricula are inconsistent and have numerous methodological shortcomings. There is no evidence to suggest there is one best way of implementing PBL, however it appears faculty training is required to be most successful. There is a need for physiotherapy specific research; although based on the experiences of our medical colleagues long term studies comparing the outcomes of programs of different curricular designs may not be warranted. PBL may help promote skills important for current practice and remains a viable alternative for those interested in curricular innovation.
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