- Cody McDonald, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, UW Seattle
- Nana Agyei, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Brother Tarcisius Prosthetics and Orthotics Training College
- Susan Spaulding, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, UW Seattle
- Anne Yamane, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, UW Seattle
- Karen Freisem, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, UW Seattle
Research question: What effect does an intercultural virtual journal club have on P&O students in the U.S. and Ghana?
Context: This study included prosthetic and orthotic (P&O) students from two educational programs: University of Washington Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics (UW) in Seattle, Washington and Brother Tarcisius Prosthetics & Orthotics Training College (BTPOTC) in Nsawam, Ghana.
Methods: We conducted a virtual intercultural journal club with UW and BTPOTC students. Participants were assigned to small groups and attended three one-hour sessions using Zoom software. Students used structured questions to review and discuss assigned peer-reviewed journal article.
Assessment: An online survey assessment of 10 questions with ordinal response options (1-5, 1=strongly disagree, 3=neutral, 5=strongly agree) and 3 open-ended questions was administered. Descriptive statistics (e.g., median and interquartile range(IQR)) were calculated. Anecdotal information from open-ended questions was used to supplement quantitative results.
Results: Nineteen of the twenty-three P&O students (11 UW, 8 BTPOTC) who participated in the virtual journal club (10 male, 9 female), returned the survey (83% response). Participants reported mixed perceptions. BTPOTC students were satisfied (median:4, IQR:0.25) while UW students were neutral (median:3, IQR:1.0). All BTPOTC students reported desire to participate in future journal clubs, while three UW students declined future participation.
The most commonly reported benefits of the journal club included increased awareness of global P&O education and clinical practice (median:4, IQR:0.5) and improved ability to communicate with peers (median:4, IQR:0.5). Areas for future refinement include improved internet connection and/or implementation of other technology (i.e., Google Docs, WhatsApp). Additionally, some students suggested using case studies rather than journal articles for future meetings.
Application: Students may experience benefits from virtual intercultural experiences similar to benefits resulting from study abroad or international experiences. Additionally, virtual intercultural experiences are more accessible to students from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.