An in-depth analysis of ethics teaching in Canadian Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy programs
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofDisability and rehabilitation ; vol. 37, no. 24, pp. 2305-2311.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine current approaches and challenges to teaching ethics in entry-level Canadian physiotherapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) programs. Methods: Educators responsible for teaching ethics in the 28 Canadian PT and OT programs (n=55) completed an online survey. Results: The quantity of ethics teaching is highly variable, ranging from 5 to 65 hours. Diverse obstacles to ethics teaching were reported, relating to the organization and structure of academic programs, student issues and the topic of ethics itself. Specific challenges included time constraints, large class sizes, a lack of pedagogical tools adapted to teaching this complex subject, a perceived lack of student interest for the subject and a preference for topics related to clinical skills. Of note, 65% of ethics educators who participated in the survey did not have any specialized training in ethics. Conclusion: Significant cross-program variation in the number of hours dedicated to ethics and the diversity of pedagogical methods used suggests that there is little consensus about how best to teach ethics. Further research on ethics pedagogy in PT and OT programs (i.e., teaching and evaluation approaches, effectiveness of current ethics teaching), would support the implementation of more evidence-based ethics education.