2010, Volume 6, Issue 2

The effectiveness of two methods of teaching safe falls to physiotherapy students

Bartłomiej Gąsienica-Walczak1, Bartłomiej Jan Barczyński2, Roman Maciej Kalina3, Cezary Kucio3

1Institute of Physiotherapy, The Podhale State Vocational School of Higher Education, Nowy Targ, Poland
2Index Copernicus International S.A., Warsaw, Poland
3Department of Physiotherapy, Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland

Author for correspondence: Bartłomiej Jan Barczyński; Index Copernicus International S.A., Warsaw, Poland; email: barczynski[at]wp.pl

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Background and Study Aim: Falls are a phenomenon which cannot be eliminated from human ontogenesis. The study aim was to verify the hypothesis that teaching safe falls to young women and men by methods that prefer playful forms of exercises is as effective as the rigorous method, on condition of high attendance at classes.
Material and Methods: The surveys included 107 physiotherapy students of the fifth semester of first degree studies. Eighty subjects were female (range 20-24 years with a mean age of 21.06 years), and 27 subjects were male (range 19-34 years with a mean age of 21.66 years). Sixty-eight female and 22 male students attended 90-100% classes (attendance 70-80%: 12 female, 5 male students). Students completed the first part of the authors’ programme titled “The theory and methodology of safe falls in individuals after limb amputations and the blind”. Students in group A were trained by the rigorous method, while students in group B were trained by a method that preferred playful forms of exercises. The “test of safe falls” (TSF) results were adopted as the criterion for the assessment of the effectiveness of the methods.
Results: The average TSF result in group A was 90.77 ± 5.93 points; in group B, it was 90.44 ± 7.13 points. These results show a more-than-good motor competence of students as pertains safe falls. The TSF run-time was 18.57 ± 2.06 s in group A and 19.15 ± 2.43 s in Group B. There were no statistically significant difference between the two groups in relation to both indices. As much as 44.4% of students in group B declared a need to increase the number of classes to 2-3 classes per week, compared to 31.1% students in group A, which proves that the method preferring playful forms of exercises is more attractive. A 70-80% class attendance was not a factor lowering adaptive effects.
Conclusions: Both methods are effective. Because of higher attractiveness of playful forms of exercises, one should often but cautiously apply them in teaching safe falls in order to precipitate adaptive effects and shape the habit of systematic physical training.

Key words: method preferring playful forms of exercises, rigorous method, safe falls, test of safe falls