Anatomy knowledge retention in Australian osteopathic training: a comparative study

Raymond Blaich*, Nalini Pather, Tania Prvan, Roger Engel, Anneliese Hulme, Goran Strkalj

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Anatomy knowledge retention is an important consideration in the training of health professionals. In this study, musculoskeletal anatomy knowledge retention was measured in students enrolled in the osteopathic programs at Southern Cross University, Australia. The double-degree osteopathic program has recently undergone curriculum change from five years to four years. Anatomy knowledge in the final-year students of the four-year program was compared to final-year students in the five-year program. Anatomy knowledge amongst the final-year students was also compared to osteopathic practitioners. To measure anatomy knowledge, a test consisting of 20 multiple-choice questions was used, with ten low-order and ten high-order questions, based on the Blooming Anatomy Tool. Students enrolled in the osteopathic program were invited to participate. A total of 92 students participated from a total of 106 students (student response rate of 86.8%). 118 osteopathic practitioners (osteopaths) completed the anatomy knowledge test from a possible 2,546 Australian osteopaths (response rate 4.6%). Retrospective data of anatomy knowledge retention amongst chiropractic students enrolled at Macquarie University, Australia was used to compare with the osteopathic students. There were no differences in the measured level of anatomy knowledge in both low-order and high-order questions between osteopathic students and osteopaths. There were no differences in the measured level of anatomy knowledge in both low-order and high-order questions between senior (fourth-year) students in the four-year program and senior (fifth-year) students in the five-year osteopathic program. The results from this study indicate there is a consistent level of anatomy knowledge retention among osteopathic students and practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-445
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Anatomy
Volume25
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Gross anatomy education
  • Knowledge retention
  • Medical education
  • Musculoskeletal anatomy
  • Osteopathic education
  • Anatomy curriculum

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