Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: Establish a profile of the amount of time spent by physical therapists performing various activities during a patient treatment session in an outpatient rehabilitation facility.

Guiding Questions: How much time do physical therapists spend in direct contact with their patient? Which activities performed by therapists take up a significant amount of the therapist's time during a session? How much time does a therapist spend performing these activities? Is there a difference between therapists in the amount of time spent performing these activities?

Method: Two physical therapists from one outpatient facility chosen at random for observation.

Data analysis: The t-test, mean time, standard deviation, and percentage of time were calculated.

Results: Therapists spent 20% of the time in direct patient contact. Significant activities performed by the therapists were interaction with the observed patient, and interaction with other patients during the session. 47% of activities performed were not directly related to the observed patient. Significant differences were found in the amount of time spent by therapists performing the activities observed.

Conclusion: Many variables influence the amounts of time physical therapists spend with their patients. Results of a study such as this can be utilized by administrators as a management tool for detecting and correcting possible time utilization problems of their physical therapists.


Physical Therapy

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