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: The purpose of this study was to identify the role of the physical therapy aide in terms of direct patient care to determine if aides are being utilized in accordance with the APTA guidelines and Florida statues.

Subjects: 300 randomly selected licensed and practicing physical therapists were surveyed throughout the state of Florida with a return rate of 43%.

Methodology: Data were analyzed through the use of frequency tabulations and ANOVA. The survey instrument was modified from a study by Bashi and Domholdt.

Results: Fifteen of 18 treatments were delegated without supervision greater than 20% of the time. The majority of therapists agreed that there is a need for more specific guidelines regarding aide utilization. There were significant inconsistencies among facilities regarding delegation without supervision. Aides with no formal training hours were delegated tasks without supervision significantly less than those aides who had received some amount of formal training hours.

Conclusion: The profession of physical therapy should take a much closer look at their guidelines in order to protect both the physical therapist and the patient from inappropriate delegation of physical therapy treatments. This will ensure that patient care is not compromised and that the integrity of the profession is not jeopardized.


Physical Therapy

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