J Korean Acad Fundam Nurs.  2017 Aug;24(3):181-188. 10.7739/jkafn.2017.24.3.181.

Effectiveness of Self-directed Learning on Competency in Physical Assessment, Academic Self-confidence and Learning Satisfaction of Nursing Students

  • 1Department of Nursing, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea. jiheachoi@yonsei.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Nursing, Wonju Severance Christian Hospital, Wonju, Korea.


Competency in physical assessment is an important component of nursing practice. However, some physical assessment skills are not being utilized within the current teacher-centered, content-heavy curriculum. This study was conducted to identify the effects of student-centered, self-directed learning in the physical assessment class.
An experimental study with a post-test only control group design was used to compare an intervention group that was provided self-directed learning classes and a control group that was provided traditional lecture and practice classes. Competency in physical assessment, academic self-confidence, and learning satisfaction were evaluated. Collected data were analyzed using χ²-test (Fisher's exact test) and independent t-test.
Competency in physical assessment was significantly higher in the experimental group. However, academic self-confidence and learning satisfaction were not significantly different between the groups.
The findings in this study indicate that self-directed learning can improve nursing students competency in physical assessment and that self-directed learning is a good education method to improve nursing students' competency in physical assessment during clinical practice and perform quality patient care by making active use of physical assessment skills.


Learning; Physical examination; Nursing education; Nursing students
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