Evaluation of a blended learning approach on stratified care for physiotherapy bachelor students

Adje, Mishael; Steinhaueser, Jost; Laekeman, Marjan; Rogan, Slavko; Karstens, Sven (2023). Evaluation of a blended learning approach on stratified care for physiotherapy bachelor students BMC Medical Education, 23(1), p. 545. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12909-023-04517-5

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Stratified models of care are valuable for addressing psychosocial factors which influence the outcome of patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Introducing such models in the undergraduate training has the potential to propagate this knowledge with evidence and foster its implementation. The objective of this paper is to explore the perception and changes in the fear-avoidance beliefs of physiotherapy students participating in a developed blended learning course on stratified care. A mixed-methods with a convenient sample of two consecutive cohorts were given a blended learning course on stratified care for patients with low back pain. The blended learning course comprised scientific rudiments and application of stratified care in clinical practiceconceptualised using the KERN’ 6-step approach. The exam scores, perceptions, performance on self-reflection-tests and pre- and post-scores on The Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia for Physiotherapists’ (TSK-PT) were obtained. After gaining clinical experience, participants were invited to discuss their clinical experiences and perceptions in workshops. The quantitative data was analysed explorative descriptively. The qualitative data was analysed following an inductive coding system with constant comparisons. Ninety-one participants consented to the evaluation (mean age=22.9±1.6 years), 66% were female. Exam scores correlated with time spent in training (r=0.30) and scores on self-reflection-tests 1 and 2 (r=0.40 and r=0.41). Participants in both cohorts described the learning resources as promoting their interest in the subject (72% and 94%), up-to-date (91% and 93%) and helpful (91% and 97%). The fear-avoidance scores for participants decreased from 53.5 (±9.96) to 40.1 (±12.4) with a large effect size (d=1.18). The regression model [F (2, 49)=1151.2, p<0.001] suggests that pre-TSK-PT and the interest of participants in the training predicted post-TSK-PT. The workshop participants (n=62) all worked in clinical practice. Emerging from the analysis were 4 categories (evolving to maturity in practice, perceiving determinants of stratified care, strategising for implementation and adopting an outlook for future practice). The quality of engagement in learning, training strategy and interest in the subject contributes immensely to learning outcomes. This blended learning course was successful in reducing kinesiophobia and influencing the participants’ attitude towards care with the potential of being translated into long-term practice.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Health Professions
School of Health Professions > Physiotherapy > Higher Education Research in Health Professions Group


Adje, Mishael;
Steinhaueser, Jost;
Laekeman, Marjan;
Rogan, Slavko0000-0003-0865-2575 and
Karstens, Sven


L Education > L Education (General)




BioMed Central




Slavko Rogan

Date Deposited:

09 Nov 2023 09:08

Last Modified:

09 Nov 2023 09:08

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Blended Learning, Mixed-methods research, Stratified Care, Bachelor Physiotherapists, Low Back Pain, Kinesiophobia





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