Purpose: 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 physical therapist student learning of professional behaviors. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the use of standardized patients’ feedback as a strategy for professional behavior development. Methods: A sample of convenience identified 13 doctoral physical therapist students prior to initiation of their first full-time clinical experience. Subjects were excluded if they had prior experiences with standardized patients or had completed a full-time clinical experience. Using a randomized control design, the experimental group (n=7) received standardized patient verbal feedback and written rubric assessment, whereas the comparison group (n=6) received written rubric assessment alone after completing standardized patient case scenarios. Outcome measures included the Modified Standardized Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSPSQ), Professional Behaviors Assessment (PBA), and Professionalism Physical Therapy Core Values Assessment (PPTCVA). Results: Data analysis included pre and post intervention comparisons of Modified Standardized Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire rubric assessment scores, Professional Behaviors Assessment scores, and Professionalism Physical Therapy Core Values Assessment scores. No statistically significant differences were found on these outcome measures, although trends for changes in performance were noted. Conclusions: Limited research exists on the impact of standardized patients’ verbal feedback with the use of a standardized rubric on physical therapist student professional behavior. This pilot study did not provide significant evidence on the value of this educational strategy in development of professional behaviors in doctoral physical therapist students. Future research may be beneficial to examine differences in perceptions of professional behavior between standardized patients, students, and faculty.

Author Bio(s)

Mary Anne Riopel, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Kean University. She completed her PhD in Physical Therapy with emphasis on research on the use of standardized patients for professional behavior development in physical therapist students.

Bini Litwin PT, DPT, PhD, MBA, is an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy Department at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She completed her PhD in Conflict Resolution with an emphasis on organizational behavior. Her research focuses on cardiovascular/pulmonary clinical practice, simulation strategies and cultural diversity.

Nicki Silberman, PT, DPT, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Clinical Education at Hunter College. She is a certified trainer for the APTA’s Clinical Instructor Credentialing Program. Her research interests include high fidelity human simulation and PT student preparation and performance for clinical experiences in acute care.

Alicia Fernandez-Fernandez, PT, DPT, PhD, earned her PhD in Biomedical Engineering, and is a certified neonatal therapist. She is currently an Associate Professor in the physical therapy department at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and her research interests encompass pediatrics, biomechanics, innovative educational approaches, and nanotechnology.





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