EVALUATION OF AN MS EDUCATIONAL TRACK FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY STUDENTS Division of Physical Therapy, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill A. Rosenberg PT, DrPH; D. Meyer PT; C. Eicher SPT; A. Fay SPT; E. Gaskins DPT; K. Gore SPT; M. Mahon DPT; K. Thomas MS, SPT; K. Gooch MSW; L. Johnston, MS, DPT INTRODUCTION RESULTS AND OUTCOMES CONCLUSIONS The student mean (n= 6 students) across the 12 competencies prior to beginning the MS track program (pre-year 1) was below average (mean = 2.31). Following the first year of the MS educational track (post-year 1/pre-year 2) competencies were rated as average / above average (mean= 3.54). Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 (n=4) competencies at the end of the 2-year MS track (post-year 2) were consistently rated as above average and excellent (4.44). Based on evaluations, the MS Education Track provides appropriate curriculum-based specialty training to four scholars interested in working with the MS patient population. Post-Year 2 evaluation outcomes were used to continue to enhance scholarship opportunities. Future evaluation measures will provide qualitative feedback from preceptors, clinical instructors, and patients regarding Scholar proficiency in topics related to MS. The problem based curriculum will continue to be expanded to further develop MS competencies. The Education and Scholarship Track in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a unique collaboration between the University of North Carolina, Division of Physical Therapy and the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the National MS Society.The curriculum was created in response to a community need for physical therapists who have expertise in the management of neurological and psychosocial needs of people living with MS. Figure 2: Student Competencies and Related Activities Figure 1: Mean values from MS Competencies OBJECTIVES • The desired outcome of the program is to graduate Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students who have a skill competency base specific to MS. The specific goal is to enhance the MS-related competencies of an annual cohort of DPT students in five main areas: • Didactic Learning • Clinical Experience • Community Outreach and Service • Advocacy and Fundraising • Education and Training Instruction SUMMARY OF USE The MS Competencies Rating Scale* five item self-rated Likert scale: 1=Poor, 2=Below Average, 3=Average, 4=Above Average, 5=Excellent. This unique program addresses the challenges of people living with MS through specialized training for DPT students at UNC-Chapel Hill. It is our goal that this curriculum will serve as a collaborative educational model for other universities and organizations to meet the needs of students interested in a particular patient population, as well as increase access for populations in need of specialized physical therapy care. Figure 3: MS Educational Track Graduate Outreach and Related Activities METHODS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Students are evaluated through quantitative measures including: the MS Competencies Rating Scale and MS Activity Tracking Form. Competencies are student-evaluated in the following 12 areas: 1) knowledge of MS, 2) advanced knowledge of MS, 3) knowledge of public policy and service systems, 4) interdisciplinary teams and interagency planning, 5) assessment and outcomes, 6) implementation of treatment plans and services, 7) involvement with individuals with MS, caregivers, and communities of care, 8) program and project evaluation, 9) legal, ethical and moral issues, 10) program/project management, 11) health care delivery systems and MS, and 12) research. Thank you to the MS Society of Eastern North Carolina and the UNC Division of Physical Therapy for their support of the program. *Scholar hours vary and are individually determined based on student goals and mentor determination of competency strengths and needs. DISCUSSION The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the MS educational track in improving student competencies after the first two years of the program. It is important to note that cohort 2 is currently in the process of completing year 2, therefore a complete analysis of competencies is not possible at this time. Based on evaluation findings, student-rated MS competencies have significantly increased across all competency categories. This increase in MS-related competencies can be attributed to post year 1/cohort 1 student and faculty mentor review of evaluation findings resulting in a targeted effort to increase patient contact and access to interdisciplinary MS specialists. In addition, student participation in a student-initiated monthly MS journal club, the development of a Problem Based Learning Curriculum, peer-reviewed national presentations, teleconferences, educational outreach to people with MS and health care professionals and interactions with the MS Society of Eastern North Carolina contributed to an overall enhancement of competencies in targeted areas.