Threshold concepts in prosthetics








Background: Curriculum documents identify key concepts within learning prosthetics. Threshold concepts provide an alternative way of viewing the curriculum, focussing on the ways of thinking and practicing within prosthetics. Threshold concepts can be described as an opening to a different way of viewing a concept. This article forms part of a larger study exploring what students and staff experience as difficult in learning about prosthetics. Objectives: To explore possible threshold concepts within prosthetics. Study design: Qualitative, interpretative phenomenological analysis. Methods: Data from 18 students and 8 staff at two universities with undergraduate prosthetics and orthotics programmes were generated through interviews and questionnaires. The data were analysed using an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach. Results: Three possible threshold concepts arose from the data: ‘how we walk’, ‘learning to talk’ and ‘considering the person’. Conclusion: Three potential threshold concepts in prosthetics are suggested with possible implications for prosthetics education. These possible threshold concepts involve changes in both conceptual and ontological knowledge, integrating into the persona of the individual. This integration occurs through the development of memories associated with procedural concepts that combine with disciplinary concepts. Considering the prosthetics curriculum through the lens of threshold concepts enables a focus on how students learn to become prosthetists. Clinical relevance This study provides new insights into how prosthetists learn. This has implications for curriculum design in prosthetics education.




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