Distance Education System in Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation in Turkey and Croatia

1 Filiz Can
2 Snježana Schuster

1 Hacettepe University Faculty of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Ankara, Turkey
2 University of Applied Health Sciences – Department of Physiotherapy, Zagreb, Croatia



Distance education, which was implemented as a form of education in the past years, has become more important with the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic all over the world. In Turkey, since March 23, 2019, education had passed gradually to distance education at all educational levels, including physiotherapy and rehabilitation study programs at universities. There are 123 departments the Distance Education University in Turkey. 87.5% of students found the efficiency of distance education low for practical courses and 78.5% for theoretical  courses. 90.3% of the students preferred traditional education and 9.7% preferred distance education. The first case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Croatia was confirmed on February 25, 2020. In the research by Puljak et al., regarding the opinions of university students of health sciences, many students did not express concern about the lack of practical lessons, voicing  opinions that this can be compensated once they start working. Most students indicated that in the future, they would prefer to combine traditional teaching and e-learning (N = 1403;  55.7%). The obtained results raise questions of students’ perception of the importance of practical teaching during their university studies. The distance education system in the field of physiotherapy and rehabilitation in Turkey and Croatia will influence the revision of the curriculum and the use of a combined learning model (blended learning) also called integrated learning system.

Keywords: higher education, distance education, physiotherapy, Turkey, Croatia