JOPTE

The Journal of Physical Therapy Education (JOPTE) is peer reviewed and published three times each year by theEducation Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. The Journal is indexed by Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature and in Physiotherapy Indexditor:

Editors:
Jan Gwyer, PT, PhD
Laurita M. Hack, PT, DPT, MBA, PhD 

Fall 2014 Volume 28 - Number 3

Editorial: Every PT and PTA Is an Educator
by Jan Gwyer and Laurita Hack
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The Education Section's mission is "to inspire all physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) in their roles as educators and to enhance the development and implementation of evidence-based education practices." This mission recognizes that we have an array of audiences, venues, and methods in our educational pursuits as PTs and PTAs. This issue of the Journal of Physical Therapy Education truly exemplifies the many ways we all serve as educators .
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17th Pauline Cerasoli Lecture: Choosing a Disruptive Path Toward Tomorrow
by Leslie G. Portney
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I am truly honored to be here today. I have grown up as a therapist and educator with so many friends and colleagues, and I am thankful for the gifts of remarkable teachers, mentors, and coworkers who have given me incredible experiences and opportunities to learn and take part in leadership on behalf of this wonderful profession. I want to acknowledge a deeply felt appreciation for the legacy of Polly Cerasoli. Polly was a long-time friend, from the time I moved to Boston in 1974, when she was at Northeastern University and I was at Boston University. She was a dedicated educator, administrator, and researcher, but I will remember her best for her laugh, her sense of humor, and her enthusiasm for everything. She is sincerely missed. And so it is all the more meaningful for me to be able to share my thoughts today to honor her memory.
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Comparison of 2 Formaldehyde Exposure Assessment Devices in a Physical Therapy Education Program Anatomy Laboratory
by Janet M. Cope, Stewart M. Holt, Kathy Starr, Gary Tencer, Colin McGowan, and Christina Ridenour
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Background and Purpose. Physical therapist (PT) education programs in the United States require that students have a strong foundation in human anatomy. As a result, anatomy teachers and physical therapist students in anatomy courses can spend upwards of 100 hours annually studying human donors embalmed with formaldehyde (FA), a known carcinogen. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends regular FA exposure testing, approxmately 42% of PT education program anatomists operate labs without direct access to qualified personnel to conduct such testing. These anatomists are often responsible for interpreting, assessing, and managing FA issues in the laboratory. In this paper, the researchers compare 2 methods for personal FA exposure testing and summarize current FA regulations. While Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH) recommend the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Method 2016 (active pump attached to sorbent tube) to assess anatomy laboratory FA exposure levels, there are other methods available. The purpose of this research was to compare NIOSH Method 2016 to a different FA exposure sampling device for ease of use, cost, and effectiveness in assessing FA exposure levels in the PT anatomy laboratory setting. Subjects. Participants included the anatomy course instructor and 10 randomly selected Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students enrolled in a human anatomy course. Methods. The researchers compared personal FA exposure data samples using passive FA-sensitive diffusion badges against the NIOSH-recommended Method 2016 (active pump with sorbent tube) during 10 data collection sessions. In addition, the researchers calculated the cost and time spent to use each FA sampling device. Results. The passive FA-sensitive diffusion badges were less costly and required less time and expertise to use as compared to NIOSH Method 2016. There was a moderately strong correlation between the passive FA-sensitive diffusion badge data and NIOSH Method 2016 (r = .772, P < .01). However, independent t tests revealed that there was a significant difference in the FA exposure data using the passive diffusion badge as compared to NIOSH Method 2016 (Badge: Mean = .22, SD = .263 versus Method 2016: Mean = .74, SD = .834; P = .004). Discussion and Conclusions. Passive FAsensitive diffusion badges are less costly and simple to use as compared to NIOSH Method 2016, but in this study FA exposure badge values were consistently lower than NIOSH Method 2016 data. While the passive FA-sensitive diffusion badge is convenient for routine personal FA exposure monitoring, these researchers recommend that a CIH conduct a complete FA assessment at least annually to ensure air quality safety. Key Words: Formaldehyde assessment, Anatomy, Physical therapy.
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Outcomes Related to a Multimodal Human Anatomy Course With Decreased Cadaver Dissection in a Doctor of Physical Therapy Curriculum
by William K. Ogard
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Background and Purpose. Cadaver dissection historically has been an indispensible component of teaching and learning human anatomy. The purposes of this study were to: (1) describe changes to a traditional human gross anatomy course, specifically the use of web-based video dissections and reduced time in actual cadaver dissection lab, and (2) describe and assess student impressions of the curriculum in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Methods/Model Description and Evaluation. Forty-four first-year DPT students consented to participate in the study. During the semester, students viewed video dissections on the Internet (www.youtube. com) for each region of the body studied. An 8-question survey was designed and distributed to the students at the end of the semester. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results. Outcomes. Students scored video dissection lower than cadaver dissection as a valuable tool for learning and understanding human anatomy. However, mean scores for the course were not significantly different from previous years, despite far less time spent performing cadaver dissection in the current year. Discussion and Conclusion. Decreasing the time spent on cadaver dissection did not appear to have a negative effect on overall course performance in a human anatomy course, even though students placed a relatively high value on the dissection experience. This multimodal pedagogical strategy appears to be a very cost- and time-effective method for teaching and learning human anatomy in an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program curriculum. Key Words: Anatomy, Dissection, Cadaver, Teaching.
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The Use of Human Simulation to Teach Acute Care Skills in a Cardiopulmonary Course: A Case Report
by Melissa Bednarek, Patricia Downey, Ann Williamson, and Carol Ennulat
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Background and Purpose. Although not new to health care education, the use of high-fidelity simulation (HFS) is relatively new in physical therapist education. This technology has the potential to be beneficial in educating physical therapist students in the evaluation and treatment of patients in the complex acute care setting. The purpose of our case report was to illustrate how a physical therapist education program at a small university, previously without access to HFS, was able to partner with a local simulation center and integrate 3 simulation lab experiences into a cardiovascular and pulmonary course. Case Description. Twenty-eight students participated in 3 simulation scenarios in the Fall 2011 semester, each including a subsequent faculty-led debriefing. The patient in each scenario had a different medical diagnosis with scenarios ranging in complexity. Students self-assessed their confidence and interest in examining and treating patients in an acute care setting, identifying medical equipment, interpreting physiological information, and responding to changes in physiological status both at the beginning and the end of the cardiopulmonary course. Outcomes. Students demonstrated increased confidence levels and interest in acute care at the end of the course as compared to the beginning. Themes derived from analyses of student comments after simulations revealed that students perceived gains in clinical experience/ exposure, and the ability to modify examination and treatment of acute care patients. Discussion and Conclusion. The incorporation of HFS into a cardiopulmonary course proved beneficial. Areas for future study should identify whether the increase in confidence and interest translates to improved performance in the clinical setting and, if so, discover the optimal number and duration of simulation experiences necessary to achieve this improvement. Key Words: Simulation, Cardiopulmonary Physical therapy, Acute care
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Flipping the Classroom Experience: A Comparison of Online Learning to Traditional Lecture
by Leigh Murray, Christine McCallum, and Christopher Petrosino
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Introduction and Review of Literature. Physical therapist education programs are challenged to provide physical therapist students with exposure to an expanding amount of content with little change in time to degree completion. There is a need for evidence to support creative teaching methods to cover basic content and therefore effectively use class time in order to facilitate higher-level thinking. Online learning has become more popular over the past several years and may be an effective means to achieve this goal. The purpose of this study was to compare outcomes of physical therapist students who were exposed to the flipping teaching method versus traditional classroom lecture in a musculoskeletal clinical science course. Subjects and Methods. Fifty-three physical therapist students participated in this study in 2010 and 2011. The 2010 cohort (n = 23) was exposed to traditional in-class lecture and the 2011 cohort (n = 30) was exposed to a flipped classroom in which the content was covered via online lectures. Student outcomes were assessed by scores on written exam questions in the following categories: total score, examination/ evaluation score, intervention score, lower-level thinking score, and higher-level thinking score. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was performed to compare the 2 teaching methods. Results. There was no significant difference between teaching methods in any category of student outcomes. Discussion and Conclusion. These results suggest that the hybrid model of instruction via use of online lectures produces similar student outcomes compared to the use of traditional lecture. This will allow physical therapist educators to utilize class time more efficiently and challenge the student to think at a higher level. Key words: Flipped classroom, Hybrid teaching, Online learning, Bloom’s taxonomy.
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Discovering What Experiences Physical Therapist Students Identify as Learning Facilitators in Practical Laboratories
by Jacqueline Francis-Coad and Anne-Marie Hill
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Background and Purpose. Students who enroll in courses focusing on patient contact participate in practical laboratories, developing skills in a challenging, pre-clinical environment. Seeking a tutor’s perspective is beneficial during this process, as they are responsible for providing opportunities to engage and facilitate student learning. The purpose of this case report was to discover what type of experiences best-facilitated student learning in practical laboratory sessions. Case Description. Baccalaureate physical therapist (PT) students (n = 32) enrolled and participated in practical laboratories. An action research design utilized written student feedback, semi-structured interviews, and tutor observations to gain student perspective on what bestfacilitated their learning. Data from these sources were coded, categorized, and concept mapped to reveal emergent themes. A final survey was then designed to represent the best learning facilitators identified from the student perspective. Outcomes. Students identified a variety of experiences that facilitated their learning. These facilitators included tutors, peers, and material resources. Students determined that the most efficient learning facilitator was receiving timely feedback from a tutor. During this time, students practiced required skills and behaviors, while tutors provided a structured peer checklist, clarifying their expectations through observation and feedback. Discussion. Action research outcomes suggest that when planning learning opportunities and developing resources, seeking comprehensive feedback from students can aid in successfully meeting their learning needs in practical laboratory settings. Key Words: Student learning, Entrylevel education, Geriatrics.
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The Informal and Hidden Curriculum in Physical Therapist Education
by Lisa L. Dutton and Debra Ough Sellheim
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Background and Purpose. The learning environment in medicine has been described as encompassing 3 areas of influence: (1) the formal curriculum or that which is explicitly stated; (2) the informal curriculum which reflects teaching and learning that occurs through informal faculty and student interactions; and (3) the hidden curriculum through which organizational structure and culture exert influence. While the formal curriculum is explicit and its influence more easily identified, the informal and hidden curricula can also have significant impact on student outcomes relative to attitudes, knowledge, and behavior. Although work has been done in medicine to identify the informal and hidden curriculum, no literature exploring these influences in physical therapist education could be identified. The purpose of this study was to examine the informal and hidden curricula in professional physical therapist (PT) education as perceived by PT students. The research questions were: (1) Do PT students believe there are informal and hidden curricula in their educational program? (2) If so, how would they describe the informal and hidden curriculum in both the didactic and clinical portion of their program? Subjects. Twenty-eight third-year PT students from 3 Midwestern physical therapist educational programs (2 public, 1 private) participated in this study. Methods. Qualitative data were gathered using focus group interviews. Audiotapes were transcribed and data were coded utilizing a framework, linking student learning associated with the informal and hidden curriculum to the physical therapist profession’s core values. Results. PT students believe that informal and hidden curricula are present in the didactic and clinical aspects of their program. Three major influences related to the informal curriculum (faculty, clinical education, peers) and 2 major influences (physical environment, policy) related to the hidden curriculum were identified. Themes illustrating what students were learning from the implicit curriculum were linked to the core values of compassion/ caring, excellence, integrity, and professional duty. Student learning related to compassion/caring was associated with attributes of successful relationships. For the core value of excellence, faculty influence was related to standards of excellence and habits supporting excellence. For both excellence and integrity, areas of dissonance between the academic and clinical setting emerged in relation to patient/client examination, documentation, practice standards, reimbursement, and productivity. Professional duty associated with involvement with the American Physical Therapy Association was influenced by faculty and policy. Faculty-student relationships, as well as perceptions of educational quality, were associated with the physical environment influences. Discussion and Conclusion. Student learning and professional development are impacted through the informal and hidden curriculum. By gaining an increased understanding of the informal and hidden curriculum, physical therapy educators will be able to better address potential negative influences and strengthen and support those influences that may be positive. Key Words: Hidden curriculum, Informal curriculum, Physical therapist education.
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Clinical Reasoning in First- and Third-Year Physical Therapist Students
by Sarah Gilliland
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Background and Purpose. The development of clinical reasoning skills is a crucial component of professional physical therapist education. Prior research has described reasoning patterns in novice and expert practitioners, yet little is known about how professional physical therapist (PT) students develop clinical reasoning skills. The purpose of this study was to explore how first-year PT students perform clinical reasoning in comparison to thirdyear PT students in their final semester. Subjects. A simple random sample of 6 first-year (mean age 23.1 years) and 6 third-year (mean age 27 years) Doctor of Physical Therapy students were recruited. Methods. Participants completed an evaluation and treatment plan for a simulated patient case while performing a thinkaloud. Participant strategies were identified based on patterns of examination data collected and hypotheses formed. Participant hypotheses and final assessments were coded for dimensions of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Results. Qualitative differences were found between first- and third-year students in categories of hypotheses formed, assessments made, and treatments selected. Six reasoning strategies were identified. Third-year students demonstrated use of the 3 more sophisticated strategies, while first-year students used only the 3 simplest strategies. First-year students demonstrated 3 faulty patterns of reasoning that were not present in the work of the third-year students. Discussion and Conclusion. This study provides a preliminary description of clinical reasoning strategies used by firstand third-year physical therapist students. Third-year students demonstrated reasoning strategies previously described in studies of novice practitioners, while first-year students demonstrated reasoning errors not previously described in the literature. These findings may inform curricular design to promote effective development of clinical reasoning. Key Words: Clinical reasoning, Professional physical therapist education.
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Examining the Impact of an Integrated Clinical Experience (ICE) on Interpersonal Skills Prior to the First, Full-Time Clinical Internship: Cool as ICE
by Jennifer A. Mai, Debra Stern, John H. Hollman, Barbara A. Melzer, Alecia K. Thiele, and Rebecca S. Rosenthal
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Introduction. Appropriate interpersonal skills between physical therapists and patients/clients are critical for successful physical therapy clinical outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the inclusion of integrated clinical experiences (ICEs) in physical therapist education curricula helped students develop appropriate interpersonal skills prior to entering into the first full-time clinical experiences compared to students without the experience. Subjects. This 2-part study consisted of 162 student subjects participating in a survey that was a self-assessment of readiness, and 36 student subjects were observed and rated. Methods. Academic coordinators of clinical education/directors of clinical education (ACCE/DCE) teams and students from 4 accredited physical therapist education programs participated. The study subjects were considered trained or untrained. Trained subjects had participated in an ICE prior to their first, full-time clinical internship as part of an entry-level physical therapist education program. The untrained group had no or minimal formal clinical experience. All subjects completed the Interpersonal Communication Questionnaire (ICQ),1 which measures self-perceived communication confidence and anxiety (both subscales of the tool) prior to the first full-time internship. An adapted form of the Medical Communication Behavior System (MCBS)2 was used to observe the subjects’ interpersonal skills in the clinic for the first 15 minutes of an intervention session. This occurred during a preplanned site visit by the ACCE/DCE between day 5 and day 15 of the internship. Descriptive statistics were used for demographic data, and comparisons between groups were analyzed through the 1-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and the Mann-Whitney U test. Results. A statistically significant difference was found on the ICQ between students with work experience as a physical therapist aide or technician, and those without this experience (F = 6.877, P = .010). Students in the trained group scored significantly higher on the confidence subscale of the ICQ (F = 4.269, P = .041), the Student Physical Therapist Content Behaviors category (U = 86.5, P = .018), and the Affective Behaviors category (U = 67.0, P = .002) measured by the MCBS. Discussion and Conclusion. Study findings provide evidence that participating in an ICE may improve interpersonal skills among students during the first, full-time clinical internship. Limitations include training for data collection at different times, data collectors choosing which students would be observed based on travel schedules, the narrow timeframe of observations, and the potential for Hawthorne effect. Further research is indicated regarding the development of interpersonal skills in physical therapist students, including the development of a tool that can be easily used in the clinic to objectively measure interpersonal skills. As outcome measurement is necessary for accreditation purposes, development of a practical instrument to measure interpersonal skills in real time is suggested. Key Words: Clinical education, Communication, Interpersonal skills, Integrated clinical experience.
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Physical Therapist Student Experiences With Ethical and Legal Violations During Clinical Rotations: Reporting and Barriers to Reporting
by Deborah L. Lowe and Donald L. Gabard
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Background and Purpose. The specific aims of this research were to: (1) gather insight on students’ ability to identify, address, and report ethical and legal violations encountered in the clinic; (2) gain insight into barriers that prevent students from reporting these violations; and (3) collect student suggestions for the curriculum and clinical supervision that might assist them in identifying and reporting ethical and legal violations. Subjects and Methods. A survey was developed, based on an extensive review of the literature, to assess 6 potential areas for ethical and legal violations: resource utilization, supervision, sexual harassment, truth telling, respect, and blatant wrongdoing. After survey administration, students were invited to participate in a voluntary group discussion in which they gave feedback on the survey and their answers. Sixty-nine surveys were completed. Results. The survey response rate was 98.5% (69/70). The length of participant clinical experience ranged from 16 to 24 weeks. Seventy-one percent of the participants were female. In all areas investigated, students reported violations, often reporting appropriately but also at times failing to respond. The reason chosen for failure to respond from most often to least often was: (1) “low position of hierarchy,” (2) “fear of not being a team player,” (3) “did not recognize as an issue,” and (4) “personal consequences.” Discussion and Conclusion. In many cases students did recognize legal and ethical wrongdoing in the clinical environment and responded appropriately. Among those who recognized the problems but did not report, the most common barrier was “low position of hierarchy.” The second most common barrier reported was “did not recognize as an issue.” Results from the discussion groups indicated that the survey reflected topics covered in didactic coursework; however, students felt they would have benefited from having courses covering these violations earlier in their curriculum and incorporating ethical and legal issues into the more clinically based didactic coursework. Although all the students had been exposed to the legal and ethical issues covered in the survey, there was a marked inability to set aside self-interest and responsibly report violations in the clinic. In response to claims that they were unaware of legal requirements for practice, we offer the suggestion of a mandatory competency test on the state practice act prior to clinical affiliations. For other barriers, we recommend optimal course construction and placement to foster moral reasoning and courage, policy changes to recognize clinical time prior to reporting if replacement is required and education policies modeled after state licensure laws that punish observers of wrongdoing who fail to respond or report. Key Words: Clinical education, Ethical issues, Ethics and morality, Legal issues, Professional Issues,.
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Variables Predictive of Admission to US Physical Therapist Education Programs
by Matthew Nuciforo, Yelena Litvinsky, and Wendy Rheault
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Introduction. Previous research has identified undergraduate grade point average and Graduate Record Examination scores as predictors of academic success in graduate physical therapist programs and on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) licensure examination. Despite this research, disparity exists in admission requirements and their use across accredited United States (US) physical therapist education programs. The purpose of this study was to identify variables that are predictive of admission to US professional physical therapist education programs. Review of Literature. A number of research studies have been conducted in attempt to describe the relationship between various pre-matriculation variables and measures of success in physical therapist education programs. Many such studies have identified pre-admission variables such as undergraduate grade point average, Graduate Record Examination scores, and age as predictors of academic success. Several studies have also identified preadmission variables predictive of success on the NPTE. Despite this research, there is limited evidence of actual predictors of acceptance into physical therapist education programs. Subjects. The sample consisted of 6,053 applicants to 72 Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) member institutions in the 2008-2009 cycle, 9,228 applicants to 107 PTCAS member institutions in the 2009-2010 cycle, and 11,690 applicants to 128 PTCAS member institutions in the 2010-2011 cycle. Methods. De-identified data were obtained from PTCAS including admission decision, applicant demographics, and selected applicant variables: Science (SGPA) and Cumulative GPA (CGPA), quantitative (QGRE), verbal (VGRE) and analytical (AGRE) GRE scores, letter of recommendation (LOR) summary rating scores, and sex. The ability of the variables to predict admission was studied using logistic regression analysis. Results. After removal of incomplete data, 3,924 applicants (64.8%) from 2008- 2009, 6,532 applicants (70.8%) from 2009- 2010, and 8,967 applicants (76.7%) from 2010-2011 were included in the regression analysis. In 2008-2009, SGPA, CGPA, QGRE, LOR, and sex were all statistically significant (P ≤ .05) predictors of admission. In 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, in addition to SGPA, CGPA, QGRE and LOR, VGRE and AGRE were also statistically significant (P ≤ 0.05). In the forward stepwise regression model SGPA was found to be the greatest contributor to admission in all admission cycles (2008-2009: R2 = .358; 2009-2010: R2 = .371; 2010-2011: R2 = .381). The inclusion of all significant variables in this logistic prediction model accounted for 37.6% of the variability in admission decisions in 2008-2009, 44.5% in 2009-2010, and 47% in 2010-2011. Discussion and Conclusion. The results indicate that of the variables studied, SGPA was the greatest predictor of successful admission to PTCAS member physical therapist education programs in 2008-2011. The use of SGPA in determining admission is consistent with evidence that has previously established GPA as a strong predictor of success within graduate physical therapist programs. Beyond SGPA, the addition of other variables to the prediction model did not demonstrate meaningful change. Additional variables not studied may also contribute to admission decisions. Clinical Relevance. Results may serve to guide prospective applicants, undergraduate advisors, and the profession. Applicants to physical therapist education programs should strive to develop a strong undergraduate record of coursework in the sciences to maximize admission potential. The physical therapy profession should continue to monitor and investigate the use of admission variables across all accredited US physical therapist education programs. Key Words: Admissions, Physical therapist centralized application service.
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Physical Therapists’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs About Physical Activity: A Prerequisite to Their Role in Physical Activity Promotion?
by Alexandre Mouton, Benoît Mugnier, Christophe Demoulin, and Marc Cloes
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Background. The promotion of physical activity (PA) is widely recognized as a major component of the prevention and management of several chronic diseases. As experts in human movement, physical therapists (PTs) are logical agents for the promotion of PA. Nevertheless, to date only few studies have investigated factors that influence PA promotion. Objectives. This study aimed to analyze the relationships between physical therapist knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about PA, and their own selfreported PA promotion. Design. A sample of 185 PTs (male = 102) completed a cross-sectional survey through an online questionnaire. It included 25 multiple choice, Likert scale, and open-ended questions related to (1) personal characteristics, (2) knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about PA, and (3) self-reported PA promotion by PTs. A deductive and inductive content analysis of the openended questions was also performed. Results. The questionnaire revealed that 99% of PTs agreed (n = 30) or completely agreed (n = 154) with the fact that they have to contribute to PA promotion in their patients. Significant correlations were found between physical therapist knowledge of the definition of PA, the benefits of PA, and their self-reported PA promotion (0.251, P < .01 and 0.180, P < .05, respectively). Additional multivariate analysis of the predictors of the self-reported PA promotion exposed significant univariate effects of knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about PA (P < .01). Conclusion. Although the role of PTs in PA promotion seems evident, this survey underlines important misconceptions about PA within this group of health care professionals. Significant relationships between physical therapist knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about PA and self-reported promotion of PA highlight the need for physical therapist education programs to emphasize teaching the fundamentals of PA. Key words: Physical therapy, Physical activity, Knowledge, Promotion, Education.
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Beliefs of Australian Physical Therapists Related to Lumbopelvic Pain Following a Biopsychosocial Workshop
by Darren Beales and Peter O’Sullivan
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Introduction. The purpose of this study was to determine if participation in a 1-day workshop focusing on the biopsychosocial nature of lumbopelvic pain disorders would influence the beliefs of physical therapists in Australia. Review of the Literature. Within the biopsychosocial model of pain disorders, there is growing understanding of the role of beliefs as a potential contributor to disability. Not only is there an interest in the beliefs of those afflicted with pain disorders, but also in the beliefs of the health care practitioner (HCP). HCP beliefs have the potential to influence management and client beliefs in both positive and negative ways. Subjects. Physical therapists who voluntarily attended a 1-day professional development workshop in Australia (n = 77). Methods. Physical therapist beliefs related to back pain (modified Back Beliefs Questionnaire) and pelvic girdle pain (customized questions) were assessed pre- and post-workshop. The title of the workshop was “A contemporary biopsychosocial approach to pelvic girdle pain.” The content included presentation of contemporary scientific evidence, case study examples, and live patient demonstrations. Results. Beliefs related to lumbopelvic pain demonstrated a positive shift following the participation in the workshop (ANOVA P = .03). For pelvic girdle pain, there was a shift in beliefs related to the causes that is more aligned with current literature in this area (ANOVA P < .01). Discussion and Conclusion. A 1-day professional development workshop resulted in more positive beliefs related to lumbopelvic pain in Australian physical therapists. Further research is required to identify key education strategies to change beliefs that have a positive flow on effect to altering HCP behaviors. Key Words. Professional development, Physical therapy, Beliefs, Back pain, Pelvic girdle pain, Lumbopelvic pain.
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Letter to the Editor
by Bella J. May
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As a mostly retired academician and clinician, I maintain an interest in the educational community and regularly read the Journal of Physical Therapy Education. As a retired department chair of a physical therapist educational program and a physical therapist assistant educational program, I read the article on leadership retention with interest. The problems today, unfortunately, are similar to the problems of 20 and 30 years ago and will probably continue to be problems 20 years from now. There are excellent suggestions in both the article and the commentary. The suggestions to try an increase the supply of competent educational leaders through mentoring and workshops are important. I remember the Education Section addressing those problems through past workshops for both faculty and leaders. However, one should not try to increase the pool on one hand and close the door on the other. I must take exception to Dr. Gordon’s suggestion that accreditation criteria should require that the head/director/chair of a physical therapist educational program have at least 5 years of academic experience. As a retired educational leader who went directly from full time clinical practice to creating and leading an educational department that eventually was home to 3 different programs for the physical therapist and the physical therapist assistant, I don’t believe that previous academic experience should be a requirement.
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