Australian Journal of Clinical Education


Background. The relationship between students’ reflective ability and performance on physiotherapy clinical placement is currently unclear.

Objectives. To investigate: i) if a relationship exists between students’ critical reflective ability and performance on physiotherapy clinical placement; and whether these relationships differ by ii) Critical reflective task (CRT) rank grade or, iii) by gender.

Design. An observational cohort study design.

Methods. Critical Reflection Task (CRT) marks and clinical placement (APP) scores from 196 (F=94; M=102) post-graduate, entry-level physiotherapy students were analyzed.

Results. A significant moderate predictive relationship was found between CRT marks and APP scores (r=.411, p2=.169, SEE=12.79). There was a weak positive correlation between ‘CRT rank grade’ and APP scores (rs=.371, p

Conclusions. A significant positive relationship between students’ critical-reflective ability and clinical practice performance (aligned to physiotherapy practice thresholds) exists. Further research is needed to determine whether facilitating students’ self-reflection skills may enhance clinical performance for health professional students.