Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physical Therapy

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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University. College of Health Care Sciences.


Background: There is a paucity of published literature regarding the correlation between faculty characteristics and outcomes on the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants (NPTE-PTA). Purpose:To determine if there was a relationship between faculty characteristics in PTA educational programs and program outcomes on the NPTE-PTA. Subjects: The 233 Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) PTA programs accredited in 2006. Method:A retrospective, quantitative, non-experimental, correlational design. Data were from 190/233 of the PTA programs from dataset of CAPTE's PTA annual accreditation report (AAR) and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy's (FSBPT) pass rate database. Selected faculty traits (designation of terminal degree, years of teaching experience, employment status, license designation [physical therapist or physical therapist assistant] and clinical specialization) were correlated to program pass rates. ResultsSeven factors had a statistically significant relationship to the outcomes on the NPTE-PTA at the 0.05 alpha level: a) the number of full-time faculty (r


= -.169); b) the number of adjunct faculty with an associate degree (r


= .200); c) the number of full-time faculty with a terminal degree (r


= -.175); d) the number of core faculty with a terminal degree (r


= -.158); e) the number of all faculty with a terminal degree (r


= -.152); f) the number of years of teaching experience of the full-time faculty (r


= 159); g) the number of years of teaching experience of the core faculty (r


=.143). Backward deletion regression analyses demonstrated an overall model of two combined predictor factors (full-time faculty years of teaching and full-time faculty terminal degree) that significantly predicted the first time pass rate on the NPTE-PTA accounting for 6.5% of the variance. Discussion: Although, this study failed to find a strong relationship or predictive model for success on the NPTE-PTA, it added to the body of evidence in this area and laid the foundation for future studies by identifying some of the faculty characteristics that do not seem to impact NPTE-PTA outcomes. Future studies should be conducted to further investigate PTA program factors that may impact the NPTE-PTA outcomes.


Physical Therapy

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