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Title: Modernising the Maltese physiotherapy curriculum : an empirical study
Author: Sacco, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 2668 9774
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2008
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Following a poliomyelitis epidemic, physiotherapy was introduced to Malta in 1943 based on the curriculum of the English Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and has remained the core of Maltese physiotherapy courses. However, health services in Malta are undergoing major changes in policy and resources cumulating with the development of a new teaching hospital. The need was felt both from the clinical and academic perspectives that the inherited curriculum needed review to ensure it meets the current requirements of local stakeholders including those of overseas authorities. Various research methodologies were examined and a qualitative approach using an 'Action Research' paradigm was identified as the most appropriate. Seven cycles of planning, action and evaluation using documentary research and interviews with: educators, students, practitioners, patients, management as well as the professional body were undertaken. 'Thematic Analysis' was used to interpret and analyse the data. To triangulate the data collected during the previous cycles, Q Methodology was applied as a means to offer an empirical explanation to the qualitative data collected previously. During the early stages of the study the data indicated that both students and academia were not content with the curriculum and expressed scepticism that the study will result in change. As the study developed their interest increased, becoming actively involved in the research process resulting in the empowerment of the primary stakeholders to ameliorate their curriculum, work and working environment. Throughout the study changes to the course design, content, teaching and assessment methods of the curriculum have occurred, encouraging students to become critical and reflective practitioners. The study resulted in two curricula being designed; a workable curriculum acceptable to the University which would satisfy the needs of both local and foreign requirements and an 'ideal' curriculum for future implementation. Importantly this study offers a model and methodology for designing professional curricula that could be utilised by other professions, both locally and abroad. Finally, suggestions for further and future considerations are presented.
Supervisor: Parry, Anne ; Naudi, John Rizzo ; Overall, Lyn Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available