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Recently, the use of animal laboratories has decreased in medical and basic science programs due to lack of trained faculty members, student concerns about animal welfare, and the increased availability of inexpensive alternatives such as computer simulations and videos. Animal laboratories, however, have several advantages over alternative forms of instruction, including an increased sense of learner responsibility, long-term psychomotor competency, and improved ability to examine functional relationships. While the use of animal laboratories has been studied in medical programs, it has not been examined in physical therapy or other allied health programs. The purposes of this study were to examine the attitudes of student physical therapists toward clinically relevant animal laboratories and to determine if student physical therapists felt that the laboratory modules prepared them for future course work and clinical internships. Written surveys completed by the study participants indicated that most students enjoyed the labs and believed that they helped prepare them for course examinations. Additionally, the majority of students believed that the laboratory modules helped them prepare for future course work and clinical internships.
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