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: To determine if tasks performed by California employed physical therapist assistants (PTAs) prepared through equivalency 1398.47(a)(3) and PTA programs significantly differ from each other.

Subjects: From the 101 of 320 systematically sampled licensed PTAs returning surveys (return rate of 31.6%), 76 were used in this study prepared as either college graduate or equivalency 1398.47(a)(3) candidates.

Methodology: Data were collected for this descriptive study from a self gene ted survey. Frequencies were determined for demographic questions; cross tabulations and Chi-square tests were performed for 83 physical therapy tasks obtained from the coalition for consensus document provided by the APT A.

Results: The tasks performed by PT As who prepared for the PTA licensure examination as specified in 1398.47(a)(3) of the California Practice Act did not significantly differ fr m the graduates of an accredited PTA program.

Conclusion and Discussion: No significant differences were found when comparing program graduate and equivalency prepared 1398.47(a)(3) PTAs suggesting that both are being utilized similarly in the clinic. However, the results may be indicative of inappropriate delegation by physical therapists.


Physical Therapy

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