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 the study was to examine the distribution of service between physical and occupational therapy for assessment and treatment of the upper quarter.

Subjects: The subjects were 107 members of the American Physical Therapy Association and 103 members of the American Occupational Therapy Association registered as working in a skilled nursing facility. A total of 108 respondents (45 physical therapists and 63 occupational therapists) replied.

Methodology: Data was collected from a self-generated questionnaire. Each question on the survey was analyzed by calculating frequency distributions and the corresponding percentages for the response categories listed on the survey. For open-ended questions, categories were established based on responses given.

Results: The individual and combined responses from physical therapists and occupational therapists indicated that when coassessing, transfers, range of motion (ROM) and strength were the only assessments to have a higher than 50% response rate for both physical therapists and occupational therapists. Over 50% of the physical therapist who chose ROM and strength of 60% of the occupational therapist that chose ROM and strength as assessments that both physical therapists and occupational therapists perform delineated the two by saying that physical therapists assess the lower extremities and that occupational therapists assess the upper extremities. Of those responding to cotreatment, 89% said that when they cotreat that the physical therapist works with the lower extremities, gait, and motor control, while the occupational therapist works with the upper extremities and ADLs.

Conclusion and Discussion: The data suggests that since I was able to categorize the coassessments and have response rates over 50% that physical therapist and occupational therapist have a good idea about the roles that each therapist plays in the skilled nursing facility. The literature reports perspective problems that professions can encounter when having problems with role delineation. The data indirectly concludes that the professions of physical therapy and occupational therapy do not have problems with role delineation and do not have conflicts with or have found ways to work around overlap of service of the upper quarter in the skilled nursing facilities in Florida.


Physical Therapy

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