Doctor of Physical Therapy Student Perceptions of Domestic Versus International Service-Learning Experiences: A Mixed-Methods Approach.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students' perceptions of service-learning between domestic and international service-learning experiences (SLEs). METHODS: DPT students participated in semi-structured interviews (n=35) and completed the Service-Learning Benefit (SELEB) scale (n=21). Focus group questions targeted the impact of the SLE on topics related to PT services, social responsibility, cultural competence, and personal commitment to engaging in future service-related activities. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Incident coding processes analyzed transcripts of the focus groups. Differences in the students' perceptions of the benefit of SLEs using the SELEB were examined using Wilcoxon signed-rank test. RESULTS: Perceived advantages of an international SLE included improved relationship building, social responsibility, citizenship skills, cultural competence, gaining trust of others, and expansion of worldview. Perceived different benefits of the domestic SLE were planning and organizing the experience and improved commitment to the community. Additionally, students who participated in the international SLE cited more barriers (e.g., cost) than in the domestic SLEs. CONCLUSION: DPT students participating in domestic vs international SLEs appear to have different perceptions of SLE. Further research is needed to examine the perspective of other stakeholders involved in domestic and international SLEs.
Feld, JA; Eubanks, BR; Black, KD; Covington, K
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