Clinical reasoning focused on activity-related behaviour and behaviour change in a physiotherapy context

Current global health problems are largely caused by unhealthy life-style behaviours, such as physical inactivity. Our behaviours are therefore of importance for our health. To suffer from injury or illness often implies a need to change behaviours in order to improve health and manage activities in everyday life. There is a call to the physiotherapy profession to embrace a biopsychosocial perspective of health and illness and improve the application of knowledge and skills in behaviour change. To meet these demands, entry-level physiotherapy educations seek to adjust their curricula. However, the impact of such efforts on the students’ clinical reasoning competence (decision-making in assessment, analysis, and treatment) is not known. In order to assess and improve physiotherapists’ and students' clinical reasoning with a focus on clients’ behaviour change there is a need of a conceptual model that describes such reasoning and a well developed and tested assessment instrument. 

The overall aim of this research project is to develop a web-based clinical reasoning instrument focused on clients’ behaviour change and with the use of the instrument study physiotherapy students' clinical reasoning. 
Initially a conceptual model describing clinical reasoning in integration with clients' behaviour change is developed. The model serves as the basis for the development and testing of a web-based assessment instrument. With the use of the instrument, physiotherapy students in Sweden are studied regarding their abilities to integrate a biopsychosocial perspective and methods that support behaviour change into their clinical reasoning. 
The goal is to increase our knowledge about how physiotherapy students in the end of their education integrate a biopsychosocial perspective and behaviour change strategies in their clinical reasoning. Furthermore, with the use of this knowledge the goal is to identify areas for improvement in the education and improve the clinical reasoning competence of the profession.