Case Report

University of the Witwatersrand physiotherapy undergraduate curriculum alignment to medical conditions of patients within Gauteng state health facilities

Mokgobadibe V. Ntsiea, Witness Mudzi, Nicolette Comley-White, Heleen Van Aswegen, Benita Olivier, Ronel Roos, Sonti Pilusa, Joanne Potterton, Hellen Myezwa, Natalie Benjamin, Vaneshveri Naidoo
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 73, No 1 | a362 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v73i1.362 | © 2017 Mokgobadibe V. Ntsiea, Witness Mudzi, Nicolette Comley-White, Heleen Van Aswegen, Benita Olivier, Ronel Roos, Sonti Pilusa, Joanne Potterton, Hellen Myezwa, Natalie Benjamin, Vaneshveri Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 November 2016 | Published: 29 June 2017

About the author(s)

Mokgobadibe V. Ntsiea, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Witness Mudzi, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Nicolette Comley-White, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Heleen Van Aswegen, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Benita Olivier, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Ronel Roos, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Sonti Pilusa, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Joanne Potterton, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Hellen Myezwa, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Natalie Benjamin, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Vaneshveri Naidoo, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The healthcare sector requires graduates with the ability to confidently assess and manage the majority of the medical conditions seen in hospitals.
Objective: To establish whether the most prevalent medical conditions treated by physiotherapists in Gauteng (South Africa) state health facilities align with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) physiotherapy curriculum.
Methods: This was a retrospective review of condition-related statistics from physiotherapy departments within the Gauteng province state health facilities. Data from all Gauteng government hospitals that had submitted at least 75% of their physiotherapy condition–related statistics to the provincial statistics coordinator from January 2012 to December 2014 were considered and compared to medical conditions covered in the Wits 2015 physiotherapy curriculum to check if all conditions listed in the Gauteng statistics appeared within the Wits curriculum document. The number of teaching hours for the common conditions was noted to check the emphasis given to these conditions in the curriculum.
Results: Eighty-three per cent of the hospitals submitted 75% of their monthly statistics. Overall, the most common conditions treated were lower limb fractures (13%) followed by stroke (7.6%) (n = 705 597). Within the neuro-musculoskeletal category, the most common conditions after lower limb fractures were soft tissue injuries (15.1%) (n = 330 511). The most common cardiopulmonary conditions were tuberculosis (24.9%), followed by pneumonia (13.8%) (n = 94 895). The most common neurological conditions were stroke (30.9%) followed by cerebral palsy (17%) (n = 174 024). Within the non-specified categories, the number of intensive care unit (ICU) patients was the highest (23%), followed by sputum induction (21%) (n = 138 187). The most common conditions that were emphasised within the Wits curriculum as indicated by the teaching hours: fractures, 14.5 (66%) of 22 third-year orthopaedics hours; stroke, 30 (73%) of 41 third-year neurology hours; soft tissue injuries, 18 (38%) of 48 fourth-year neuro-musculoskeletal hours; back lesions, 24 (50%) of 48 fourth-year neuro-musculoskeletal hours; and ICU patients, 30 (79%) of 38 fourth-year cardiopulmonary hours.
Conclusion: The Wits physiotherapy curriculum covers all medical conditions treated by physiotherapists within the Gauteng state health facilities, and overall, the curriculum prepares the students to practise in a variety of situations.

Keywords

curriculum; patient statistics; disease burden

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