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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Epub ahead of print
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2022; 19: 7.
Published online April 26, 2022.
[Epub ahead of print]
Doctoral physical therapy students’ increased confidence following exploration of active video gaming systems in a problem-based learning curriculum in the United States: a pre- and post-intervention study
Michelle E. Wormley  , Wendy Romney  , Diana Veneri  , Andrea Oberlander 
Department of Physical Therapy & Human Movement Science, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT, USA
Correspondence  Michelle E. Wormley ,Email:
Editor:  Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea
Submitted: January 28, 2022  Accepted after revision: April 19, 2022
Active video gaming (AVG) is used in physical therapy (PT) to treat individuals with a variety of diagnoses across the lifespan. The literature supports improvements in balance, cardiovascular endurance, and motor control; however, evidence is lacking regarding the implementation of AVG in PT education. This study investigated doctoral physical therapy (DPT) students’ confidence following active exploration of AVG systems as a PT intervention in the United States.
This pretest-posttest study included 60 DPT students in 2017 (cohort 1) and 55 students in 2018 (cohort 2) enrolled in a problem-based learning curriculum. AVG systems were embedded into patient cases and 2 interactive laboratory classes across 2 consecutive semesters (April–December 2017 and April–December 2018). Participants completed a 31-question survey before the intervention and 8 months later. Students’ confidence was rated for general use, game selection, plan of care, set-up, documentation, setting, and demographics. Descriptive statistics and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used to compare differences in confidence pre- and post-intervention.
Both cohorts showed increased confidence at the post-test, with median (interquartile range) scores as follows: cohort 1: pre-test, 57.1 (44.3–63.5); post-test, 79.1 (73.1–85.4); and cohort 2: pre-test, 61.4 (48.0–70.7); post-test, 89.3 (80.0–93.2). Cohort 2 was significantly more confident at baseline than cohort 1 (P<0.05). In cohort 1, students’ data were paired and confidence levels significantly increased in all domains: use, Z=-6.2 (P<0.01); selection, Z=-5.9 (P<0.01); plan of care, Z=-6.0 (P<0.01); set-up, Z=-5.5 (P<0.01); documentation, Z=-6.0 (P<0.01); setting, Z=-6.3 (P<0.01); and total score, Z=-6.4 (P<0.01).
Structured, active experiences with AVG resulted in a significant increase in students’ confidence. As technology advances in healthcare delivery, it is essential to expose students to these technologies in the classroom.
Keywords: Delivery of health care; Exergaming; Physical therapy modalities; Problem-based learning; United States
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