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Abstract

Background and Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate any association between pre-enrollment curricula and clinical performance in physical therapy professional schools. Specifically, does the type of undergraduate institution (as defined by Carnegie classification type) influence performance on components of the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument? Methods: The study methods include a retrospective quantitative review of student educational records from the Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) classes of 2013 to present. Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to determine significance of the dependent variables. Results: Results indicated that when the Carnegie Classifications were consolidated to five categories, there was only a significant difference in score for one of the 108 possible scales in the CPI (Professional Behavior, Final 3). Students who attended an undergraduate institution with a professional focus (category 5) scored significantly (p=.033) higher on this Professional Behavior scale than did students who attended an undergraduate institution with an arts and sciences focus (category 1). When the Carnegie Classifications were consolidated to four categories, two scales showed significant results (Professional Behavior, Final 3; Accountability, Final 3). Conclusions: The study fails to confirm the hypothesis that the type of undergraduate institution influences performance on components of the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument. There is virtually no difference on clinical performance based on undergraduate institution type.

Author Bio(s)

Molly Goldwasser, EdD is the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Duke University in Durham, NC.

Kyle Covington, PT, DPT, PhD is an Assistant Professor and Director of Assessment and Evaluation in the Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy program, a division in the School of Medicine.

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