Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


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: Identify perceptions of professional autonomy of Board Certified Physical Therapy Specialists (BCPTS) who practiced in managed care environments.

Guiding questions: Do BCPTS perceive an increase in professional autonomy as a specialist than as a generalist? How do the perceptions of professional autonomy vary among each specialization? What variables affect perceptions of professional autonomy among BCPTS?

Method: Two-hundred BCPTS throughout the country were randomly chosen as participants. One-hundred-eight respondents were used as subjects.

Data analysis: Frequency distributions and Pearson's correlation coefficient statistic were utilized.

Results: Majority of respondents reported no increase in professional autonomy as a specialist. Greater than three-quarters of the respondents reported a decrease in professional autonomy such as "clinical decisions were overriden by decisions of insurance companies". Correlational analysis revealed that "percent of patients covered by managed care insurance" had a major influence upon how respondents practiced and perceived their professional autonomy.

Conclusion: While there were reported differences in perceptions of professional autonomy among each specialization, there was an overall perceived decrease of professional autonomy due to managed care.


Physical Therapy