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

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Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: The purpose of my research is to determine if there is a difference between what elderly patients consider quality of life and what therapists' perceptions of quality of life for their patients are.

Subjects: 95 subjects: 53 patients residing in seven assisted living communities (ACL's), and 42 physical therapists who work in these 7 facilities in South Florida.

Methodology: The Functional Status Questionnaires was distributed to residents of ACL's. Residents must have had physical therapy within the last six months. Patients responded according what they considered their quality of life to be. Therapists responded according to what they felt their patients quality of life is.

Results: Patient response rate was 21.1%, therapist response rate was 16.8% Patients rated their quality of life higher than the therapists who treated them. In Section I, the response "no difficulty" was chosen by the patients for functional performance 273 times. Therapists chose that response 47 times. In contrast, the response, "much difficulty" was chosen 57 times by the patients and 149 times by the therapists. In response to the open ended question, quality of life was determined (by both the patients and therapists) to be satisfying or not satisfying depending on the presence or absence of friends and family, religion and philosophy, and function and activities.

Conclusion: Quality of life must be considered when assessing and evaluating an elderly patient. To provide optimum care to older patients, physical therapists will need sharp investigative skills to uncover multiple physical and psychological complications. Therapists will also need to be aware of the aging process and their own person attitudes about quality of life.


Physical Therapy

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