12-1 Scientific Reading Habits of Physical Therapy

Scientific Reading Habits of Physical Therapy Students at Ariel University Center of Samaria
Tamar Jacob, PhD, MPH, PT, Frida Shor, PhD


Background: Scientific reading skills are necessary in order to implement an evidence-based practice approach. Reading habits of Physical Therapy (PT) students may provide information about the implementation of the scientific reading skills that they have acquired during the course of their studies.

Aims: To evaluate the scientific reading habits and related factors among undergraduate PT students at the Ariel University Center of Samaria.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among PT students from all four years of study during one academic year. Data were collected using a questionnaire, and included the number of scientific reading hours per week, amount of guidance received for scientific reading, preferred reading sources, difficulties in reading and areas to be strengthened.

Results: One hundred forty five students participated in the study. The average number of reading hours of scientific literature during the first two years (5.1, 8.8, respectively) was higher than that of the last two years (2.4, 3.4, respectively). The main reading sources throughout the four years of study were textbooks (read by 97.8%), lectures notes (97.1%) and examinations from previous years (83.5%). Students in the third and fourth years of study tended to read more journal articles (either hard copy or electronic version) as compared to students from the first two years. Nearly half of the students in each year thought they should improve their scientific reading skills, use of electronic databases and proficiency in English.

Conclusions: Most students read scientific materials; however they prefer printed material such as books and lectures notes to electronic sources. It is important to encourage students to use the scientific reading skills they have acquired during their studies. Additional teaching methods should be considered to encourage reading.

Key words: Scientific reading, database, evidence-based practice, Physical Therapy students, reading habits.

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