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 determine the attitudes of physical therapists and 2nd year physical therapy students toward chronic pain patients.

Subjects: 220 physical therapists randomly picked from a list provided by the Florida Physical Therapy Association and 2nd year Masters level physical therapy students at Nova Southeastern University were surveyed. The final sample size consisted of 93 physical therapists and 67 students.

Methodology: A self-report survey was used to determine the attitude of the physical therapists and physical therapy students in this sample. Data was analyzed using frequency distributions, means, and mean differences. A General Linear Model ANOVA was performed and the alpha level was set at .05 level.

Results: The most negative attitude toward chronic pain patients took place during the first 1-5 years of practice. The physical therapists with 15 or more years of experience had the most positive attitude scores. The students score fell in the middle between therapists with 5-10 years of experience and therapists with 10 to 15 years of experience.

Conclusion: If the data trends from this study are accurate, more of an effort should be made to educate therapists with negative attitudes towards chronic pain patients, to ensure that other problems such as reduction of quality patient care or possible burnout do not continue to increase in the future.


Physical Therapy

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