Physiotherapy students' DiSC behaviour styles can be used to predict the likelihood of success in clinical placements

Journal article


Milne, Nikki, Louwen, Chanelle, Reidlinger, Dianne, Bishop, Jo, Dalton, Megan and Crane, Linda. (2019) Physiotherapy students' DiSC behaviour styles can be used to predict the likelihood of success in clinical placements. BMC Medical Education. 19(1), p. 19. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-019-1825-2
AuthorsMilne, Nikki, Louwen, Chanelle, Reidlinger, Dianne, Bishop, Jo, Dalton, Megan and Crane, Linda
Abstract

Background
Behaviour can be defined as the internally coordinated responses (actions or inactions) of whole living organisms (individuals or groups) to internal and/or external stimuli, excluding responses more easily understood as developmental changes. Unlike personality traits, that are thought to be biologically consistent, behaviour, through the application of cognition and reasoning is open to change across time and circumstance, although most humans will display preferred ways of behaving. The objective of this study was to: i) identify the behaviour styles of physiotherapy students and investigate if there is a relationship (predictive or otherwise) between students’ unique behaviour patterns and their clinical placement grades and; ii) examine if this relationship differs when student’s in a Master’s level program as well as student’s in a Bachelor’s level program are explored separately.

Methods
This cross-sectional study with 132 (F = 78, M = 54) physiotherapy students was conducted across two Australian university settings. Measures included Everything DiSC Workplace profile, Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice (APP).

Results
Physiotherapy students (n = 133) profiled the following ways: Dominance (D) style n = 20 (15%), Influence (i) style n = 33 (25%), Steadiness (S) style n = 36 (27%) and Conscientiousness (C) n = 44 (33%). Students with the individual DiSC styles of i and Conscientiousness / Steadiness (CS) were in the lowest APP quartile for clinical grades and the D style was in the highest quartile. Binary logistic regressions revealed students with an i DiSC style had 3.96 times higher odds, and students with a CS DiSC style had 4.34 times higher odds, of failing a clinical placement. When explored independently, the same trend remained for Master’s level students. Bachelor’s level students with DiSC styles of S and C had failed placements, however these styles were not significantly associated with failure (DiSC S Style: Exp(B) 1.667, p = 0.713 (CI: 0.109 to 25.433), DiSC C Style: Exp(B) 11.00, p = 0.097 (CI: 0.646 to 187.166)).

Conclusion
Physiotherapy students with DiSC styles i and CS appear to be more likely to fail physiotherapy clinical placements. Further research with larger undergraduate samples is required to establish if relations differ for undergraduate versus postgraduate students.

Keywordsphysiotherapy; clinical education; behaviour; assessment; DiSC styles
Year2019
JournalBMC Medical Education
Journal citation19 (1), p. 19
PublisherBiomed Central Ltd
ISSN1472-6920
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-019-1825-2
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85073530054
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-15
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online17 Oct 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Sep 2019
Deposited03 Jun 2021
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