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Research Article  |   April 1995
Using the Case Method to Develop Clinical Reasoning Skills in Problem-Based Learning
Author Affiliations
  • Betsy VanLeit, MPA, OTR/L, is Lecturer II, Occupational Therapy Program, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of New Mexico, Health Sciences and Service Building, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87131-5641
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Education
Research Article   |   April 1995
Using the Case Method to Develop Clinical Reasoning Skills in Problem-Based Learning
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1995, Vol. 49, 349-353. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.4.349
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1995, Vol. 49, 349-353. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.4.349
Abstract

Clinical reasoning is increasingly recognized as a crucial component of the occupational therapy process. Different types of clinical reasoning used by occupational therapists have been identified, including scientific, procedural, interactive, narrative, conditional, and pragmatic reasoning. This article describes the use of the case method in the University of New Mexico undergraduate occupational therapy curriculum to facilitate development of occupational therapy students’ problem-solving and reasoning abilities. The case method is a component of problem-based learning that emphasizes small group work to solve clinical problems that are presented as case studies. Students are presented with a variety of case formulas including paper or written cases, videotape cases, simulated client cases, and real client cases to promote the development of specific types of clinical reasoning. Problem-based learning may also hold promise as an educational strategy for fieldwork students and clinicians.