Betsy VanLeit; Using the Case Method to Develop Clinical Reasoning Skills in Problem-Based Learning. Am J Occup Ther 1995;49(4):349-353. doi: 10.5014/ajot.49.4.349.
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
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.
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