Physiotherapy students find guided journals useful to develop reflective thinking and practice during their first clinical placement: a qualitative study
Reflective practice entails a critical thinking process utilising the ability to self-monitor, be self-directive and learn from experiences. Journal writing is an educational tool to facilitate reflective practice assisting students to actively participate in acquiring deeper learning and continual growth. Physiotherapy students were provided with information on reflective practice and completed guided reflective journals during their first clinical placement in an aged care facility. This study aimed to evaluate physiotherapy students' perception of the reflective journal in developing reflective thinking and practice and to identify the main concepts recorded by students. On completion of their placement, students submitted their reflective journal electronically and completed a questionnaire of closed and open ended questions pertaining to the usefulness of the journals to develop reflective thinking and practice. Questionnaires were analysed using frequencies for the responses of the closed questions and thematic analysis of the most common responses of the open ended questions. Journals were de-indentified and thematically analysed using Leximancer頳oftware to obtain a concept map and frequencies of the main themes identified in the journals, with specific examples. The majority (88%) of respondents found the journal useful, quite useful or very useful in assisting them to learn from their experiences, and to develop reflective thinking and practice. The most frequently identified concepts were residents, time and exercises; representing more than 5000 of the total concepts identified in the journals. Guided journal writing may be a useful tool in facilitating reflective thinking and practice during clinical placements of physiotherapy students.
Education Assessment and Evaluation