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: The purpose of this study was to determine which of the support personnel identified by the American Physical Therapy Association (athletic trainers, exercise physiologists, massage therapists) is best prepared to assist physical therapists in outpatient physical therapy settings.

Subjects: The subjects for this study were 118 physical therapists who responded from randomly selected list of 300 names purchased from the Florida Physical Therapy Association.

Methodology: A self designed survey with demographic variables and a list of tasks that therapists may choose to delegate was designed. A pilot study was performed to assure validity of the instrument. Collected data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences for frequency of responses. Crosstabs and Chi-Square analysis were performed for employment setting and delegation habits. Alpha level was set at .001.

Results: 24% of respondents indicated they would delegate the formation of a problem list to support personnel. Statistical analysis revealed that physical therapists in outpatient settings tend to delegate ultrasound and whirlpool set up to athletic trainers and ultrasound to massage therapists.

Conclusion: Many physical therapists on the PHYSICAL THERAPY PRACTICE ACT and on the education and training of support personnel.


Physical Therapy

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