Evidence-Based Clicker Use: Audience Response Systems for Rehabilitation Nurses


  • Mindi Miller PhD RN CRRN,

  • Sheila Q. Hartung PhD RN



An Audience Response System (ARS) commonly used in schools and universities was studied for its benefit in rehabilitation. Audience response systems or “clickers” are technological tools for promoting interactive learning. Clickers were studied for their applicability to clinical settings as well.


Current literature shows evidence-based research and best practices for clicker use within schools. This study expanded ARS into the rehabilitation milieu and then analyzed learner opinions and outcomes. Qualitative data was obtained from both professional and patient groups.


Clickers were used while presenting research findings at conferences, when conducting staff seminars, and during client support groups and subsequent educational sessions. Response graphs and decision trees illustrate the flexibility of ARS for helping educators match presentation content to audience feedback.


Clickers narrowed the gap between those with expertise and those with minimal experience, since immediate clarification was given according to clicker results. ARS helped to engage listeners, which is consistent with clicker research conducted in academic environments.


With clickers, the knowledge and viewpoints of participants can be instantly graphed and displayed, and pertinent information can be provided in real-time. Examples from rehabilitation scenarios depict benefits of Audience Response Systems beyond academia.