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: To ascertain when physical therapists initiated patient education during the treatment of acute low back pain and to determine if they believed early education modified treatment outcomes.

Subjects: 400 surveys were mailed to 200 licensed physical therapists in New York and 200 licensed physical therapists in Florida.

Methods: A survey containing 16 questions on demographics and on experiences and beliefs of the physical therapists with regards to initiating patient education.

Results: Frequency distributions and percentages were calculated for all questions in the survey. An overwhelming number (84%) of physical therapists initiated patient education during the initial visit. Cross-Tab analysis revealed 61% of the physical therapists who initiated patient education during the first visit also reported the number of visits did not influence when they initiated patient education (p

Conclusion: Physical therapists are providing early initiation of patient education because they believe it is more effective for patient outcomes. Furthermore, early initiation of patient education is not influenced by the reforming health care system.


Physical Therapy

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