A global health training model for teaching pediatric clinical decision making skills to Rwandan physical therapists: A case report

Kathryn Clark, Cara N. Whalen Smith, Lori Kohls, Ines Musabyemariya, Egide Kayonga Ntagungira, Monika Mann, Steve R. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: There is increasing interest among physical therapists from high-income countries to participate in education development projects in low-income countries. However, there are few examples in the literature of effective developmental models or projects. This case report describes a model for improving pediatric clinical decision making skills among Rwandan physical therapists using best practices in clinical decision making, evidence-based practice where possible, and use of the International Classification of Functioning and Disability (ICF) model. Case Description: A 48-hour continuing professional development course based on the pediatric section of the Advancement of Rwandan Rehabilitation Services Project (ARRSP) was presented to 66 Rwandan physical therapists in the form of classroom lectures, laboratory and case study practice, and clinical visits to the course participant’s work place. Interactive teaching and learning was emphasized. Outcomes: Course participants completed a pre- and post-course assessment addressing course content. There was a 53% improvement in post-course assessment scores. A post-course evaluation eliciting participants’ confidence in eight clinical decision making skills emphasized in course material was also administered. Comments were strongly positive (92%) for the value of clinical visits in reinforcing the participant’s new clinical skills. Discussion: This case report documents a global health continuing professional development project that improved pediatric rehabilitation knowledge and clinical skill confidence. The project incorporated sustainability by soliciting both input and involvement of the target audience from start to finish; from the needs assessment to classroom teaching. Building on these two aspects promotes a sense of ownership and longevity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-903
Number of pages13
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2 2019


  • Clinical decision making
  • ICF model
  • global health training
  • low-income countries
  • sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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