Physical therapy educators seek teaching methodologies to efficiently educate students. The purpose of this article was to perform a systematic review of the literature pertaining to the use and effectiveness of computer-assisted learning (CAL) in physical therapy education. Criteria were established for article selection. Articles related to use included those reporting at least a 30% survey response return and a sample of at least 50. Articles regarding effectiveness included only randomized control studies related to use in physical therapy and physical therapy assistant education. Six articles related to the use and 17 articles related to the effectiveness were identified. Early published investigations were focused in the area of anatomy. The survey studies related to use indicated that educators highly valued CAL, but they reported initial use to be low due to cost. Expanding software development has resulted in higher contemporary use. CAL can effectively convey content material compared to traditional methods of instruction.
CAL is largely underresearched in the field of physical therapy compared to other health professions. Recommendations for future research include larger studies, broader representation of the practice field, and development of interactive programming.