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Abstract

Background: Research investigating predictors of success on licensure examination is useful for admission criteria as well as targeted intervention for identified at risk students in physical therapy programs. Predictors of success on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) have been explored but results are no longer current. This study assessed predictive variables including admission data, performance in identified key courses, and academic/clinical difficulty for Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) cohorts at Mount St Joseph University. Objective: Determine variables predicting success on the National Physical Therapy Examination. Design: A retrospective correlational study was done. Methods: Retrospective data of Mount St Joseph University Doctor of Physical Therapy cohorts that matriculated between 2006 and 2011 was collected and de-identified. Data variables included admissions data, identified key course grades, evidence of academic difficulties, seven performance indicators from the Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI) during the final internship, and professional Grade Point Average (pGPA). Descriptive statistics, correlational matrix, factor analysis, and multiple regression were used to analyze relationships between and among independent variables to the dependent variable of National Physical Therapy Examination success. Results: Factor analysis revealed four factor categories of independent variables: Clinical Performance Instrument criteria, Doctor of Physical Therapy Academic Performance, Admissions Requirements, and Academic/Clinical Difficulty. Multiple regression identified academic performance within the Doctor of Physical Therapy program (foundational course grades and Grade Point Average) and verbal/quantitative Graduate Examination Record (v/qGRE) scores to be the greatest predictor of first time and ultimate pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination. Conclusion: Predictors of success on the National Physical Therapy Examination are essential for DPT programs to consider when making policies regarding admissions, academic standards, and early testing of the National Physical Therapy Examination. Additionally this information can assist Doctor of Physical Therapy programs in identifying at risk students and aiding them in seeking support services to assist their success.

Author Bio(s)

Jamie Bayliss, PT, DHSc, is a Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor in the Physical Therapy program at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, OH.

Rosanne M Thomas, PT, PhD, is a Program Chair and Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy program at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, OH.

Marsha Eifert-Mangine, PT, EdD, ATC, is an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy program at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, OH.

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