To explore the potential relationship between ethnicity and achievement within undergraduate physiotherapy education.
A retrospective analysis of assessment marks awarded for academic and clinical modules.
A London University offering undergraduate physiotherapy education.
Four hundred forty-eight undergraduate students enrolled onto the Physiotherapy honours degree programme between 2005 and 2009.
Main outcome measures
Marks awarded following academic or clinical assessment. These were modelled through multivariable regression analysis to evaluate the relationship between marks awarded and ethnicity.
Differences were noted between ethnic categories in final programme success and across academic and clinical modules. Our multivariable analysis demonstrated students from Asian backgrounds had decreased odds of succeeding compared with white British students (adjusted OR 0.43 95%CI 0.24, 0.79 P = 0.006), as had Black students (adjusted OR 0.42 95%CI 0.19, 0.95 P = 0.036) and students from Other ethnic backgrounds (adjusted OR 0.41 95%CI 0.20, 0.87 P = 0.020).
This analysis of undergraduate physiotherapy students illustrated a persistent difference in attainment between students from white British and those from BME backgrounds. Heterogeneity in academic outcomes both within and between minority ethnic groups was illustrated. This study not only reinforces the need to consider ethnicity within physiotherapy education but also raises further questions about why physiotherapy students from BME groups perform less well than their white British peers.
An investigation of the relationship between ethnicity and success in a BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy degree programme in the UK.