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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 48-53

Teaching bioethics needs more than just a module: A comparison of knowledge and attitude of bioethics principles in 1st- and 3rd-year physiotherapy undergraduates

Physiotherapy School and Centre, Seth G. S. Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mariya Prakash Jiandani
Physiotherapy School and Centre, Seth G. S. Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/pjiap.pjiap_12_22

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CONTEXT: Ethics is a building block of health-care practice. Medical ethics is values and behavior applied during patient care. It may be ingrained through culture, education, upbringing, and observation. Learning by observation during a clinical posting is a hidden part of the curriculum. With experiential learning, the students may change their attitude and behavior. Whether physiotherapy students have adequate knowledge of principles of bioethics and if it changes with clinical exposure is not known. AIMS: The aim of this study was to evaluate the perception of bioethics at entry level and post clinical exposure in physiotherapy students. SETTINGS AND DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study carried out in physiotherapy school of tertiary care hospital. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Sixty-five first-year (Group A) and 65 third-year (Group B) physiotherapy undergraduates participated after institutional ethical approval. The knowledge and attitude of medical ethics was evaluated using a prevalidated structured questionnaire. RESULTS: Descriptive analysis and responses of Group A and Group B were compared using Mann–Whitney U-test using SPSS 16 software. There was a felt need of more than 90% of students in both the groups for sound knowledge and training in bioethics. A statistically significant difference was obtained in domains of consent, privacy, confidentiality, honesty, and integrity between 1st- and 3rd- year students. There were mixed responses in principles of autonomy, shared decision-making, and professional boundaries. Many respondents were neutral and many statements showed mixed responses indicating lack of knowledge. CONCLUSIONS: The study concludes a need for sensitization in bioethics during clinical training to reinforce the principles in physiotherapy undergraduates beyond a formal module.

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