Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physical Therapy


College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University. College of Health Care Sciences.


Background: Entry-level physical therapist (PT) students receive feedback on professional behavior performance from academic and clinical faculty members. Literature is lacking on the impact that verbal feedback from standardized patients (SPs) may have on student learning of professional behavior in PT students. Purpose: The primary aim of this study was to examine the use of SP feedback as a strategy for professional behavior development. A secondary purpose was to describe the perspectives of PT students on the influence of SP feedback on clinical interactions and professional behavior during a full-time clinical experience. Participants: A sample of convenience identified 13 PT students out of a potential 44 students in an entry-level DPT program prior to initiation of their first full-time clinical experience. Participants were excluded if they had prior experiences with SPs or had completed a full-time clinical experience. Methods: A mixed methods design combined a randomized experimental design and qualitative phenomenological approach. Using 2 standardized patient scenarios, the experimental group received SP verbal feedback and written rubric assessment, whereas the comparison group received written rubric assessment alone. Outcome measures included the Modified Standardized Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSPSQ), Professional Behaviors Assessment (PBA), and Professionalism Physical Therapy Core Values Assessment (PPTCVA). This study utilized phenomenological inquiry to examine the perspectives of students receiving SP feedback using reflective journaling, focus groups, and a one-on-one interview. Results: Quantitative data analysis included pre and post intervention comparisons of MSPSQ rubric assessment scores, PBA scores, and PPTCVA scores. No quantitative statistically significant differences were found on these outcome measures with the exception of the excellence domain, although trends for changes in performance were noted. Students’ perspectives on receiving SP feedback after SP case scenarios identified 4 themes. The themes of seeing through the patient’s eyes and hearing an objective truth were observed in both the verbal feedback and no verbal feedback groups. Differences existed in how feedback was received between the 2 groups. The theme of promotion of self-efficacy of professional behaviors was only perceived by the verbal feedback group. Significance: Limited research exists on the impact of SP verbal feedback with the use of a standardized rubric on PT student professional behavior. This study provides preliminary evidence on the value of this educational strategy in development of professional behaviors in PT students. Research with a larger sample size may be indicated to study this educational method further.


Physical Therapy

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