Matthew P. Condo, Blake Justice, John Fox, Michael Tighe, Matthew Foreman. Methodist University, Fayetteville, NC.

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 forced the pedagogical delivery model of anatomy. This study compared test scores in a clinically engaged anatomy curriculum, which integrated the application of anatomic concepts, biomechanics, surface palpation, and dynamic anatomy on physical therapy students. METHODS: The DPT anatomy cohort of 2019 served as the control group for this study and received a traditional model of the anatomy curriculum for half of the fall 2019 semester. The cohort of 2019 finished the fall 2019 semester under a clinically engaged delivery model. The anatomy cohort of 2020 served as the experimental group for this study and received 2.5 hours of virtual, synchronous lecture, 2 hours of cadaver dissection every other week, 4 hours of virtual dissection every other week, and 2 hours of functional/integrated lab time every other week. Each cohort was examined with two written midterm examinations, one midterm lab examination, and cumulative written and lab final examinations. Data analysis of midterm exam scores was performed using R Studio (Version 1.4.1717© 2009-2021 RStudio, PBC). The midterm 1 score for the 2019 cohort was 69.12% and the cohort of 2020 midterm score was 80.1%. The second written midterm scores displayed no significant differences between the 2019 and 2020 cohorts with a mean score of 80.1% and 79.14%, respectively. RESULTS: ANOVA of the 4 midterm scores revealed a significant difference between the midterm 1 score of the 2020 cohort versus the midterm exam scores of the 2019 cohort and the midterm examination two scores of the cohort of 2020 (F(3,156) = 11.31, p < 0.001). The midterm 2 scores of both cohorts demonstrated no significant differences in mean scores and scores in the lower quartiles. A post hoc Tukey test showed that the 2020 cohort’s midterm 1 scores were significantly different from the other groups. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study further validate previous literature by demonstrating that the number of hours spent in didactic lectures does not explain student performance. Anatomy instructors in physical therapy programs should strive to seek opportunities to apply their curriculum to clinical scenarios and concepts to reinforce learning.

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