Study finds PhysioU apps enhancing student learnings in Occupational Therapy Program

Making an impact beyond the Physical Therapy education space! The PhysioU team is very excited to present the latest research conducted by Dr. David Plutschack, OTD, OTR/L, BCPR, CLT, CEASII and Dr. Nicole Kuhl, OTD, OTR/L, CBIS from Drake University on Student Perceptions of Replacing Textbooks with a Mobile Application in the Classroom. Below is the poster presentation that they have presented during the IOTA conference. For easy reading, we have formatted the poster into this blog post.

Dr. Plutschack is part of the PhysioU Medical Expert team and he is the author of the PhysioU: SplintingPro app.

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  • Preliminary program evaluation data supports the use of mobile and web-based apps in occupational therapy education

  • Survey results of two cohorts suggest Drake University OTD students prefer mobile applications over textbooks for splinting (orthotic fabrication), goniometry, and manual muscle testing education

  • Drake OTD students perceive mobile app develops clinical skills for goniometry, splinting, and MMT at a higher level compared to traditional textbooks

  • Technology including mobile apps and web- based content are favorable educational methods to increase deep learning, student compliance, and develop clinical skills

  • Further surveys need to be conducted with new cohorts to support implementation

Learning Objectives

  • Examine the use of mobile apps for development of occupational therapy clinical skills

  • Examine student perception of mobile and web- based apps compared to textbooks in occupational therapy education

Background Information

  • Mobile app and web-based content targeted for occupational therapy and physical therapy students

  • Access from phone, tablet, and/or computer

  • Targets development of clinical skills including

    evaluation and treatment

  • Topics include neuro exam, goniometry, manual muscle testing, splinting, transfers, assistive devices, and many more topics

  • Program evaluation surveys were sent to two cohorts of students

Mobile App Use in Healthcare Education

  1. Briz-Ponce, Juanes-Mendez, Garcia-Penalvo, & Pereira (2016) found better statistical outcomes for learning anatomy using a mobile app compared to traditional classroom education

  2. Increased ”learning motivation”, but inconclusive for clinical skills for nursing students (Lee, Min, Oh, & Shim, 2018)

Student Perception of App Use in Classroom


Preference with Cost Consideration


Photos of App Interface

app interface 1
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  • Briz-Ponce, L., Juanes-Méndez, J., García-Peñalvo, A., & Pereira, F. (2016). Effects of Mobile Learning in Medical Education: A Counterfactual Evaluation. Journal of Medical Systems, 40(6), 1-6.

  • Lee, H., Min, H., Oh, S., & Shim, K. (2018). Mobile Technology in Undergraduate Nursing Education: A Systematic Review. Healthcare Informatics Research, 24(2), 97-108.

  • Wong, M., LeMoine, M., LeMoine, A., Yung, E. (2019). Physio U. [Mobile application software].


  • Dr. Plutschack and Dr. Kuhl developed this poster presentation while affiliated with PhysioU. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect PhysioU policy.