The Commission of Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) mandates the integration of critical thinking into physical therapy curriculum. However, it has been unclear what contributes to a physical therapist's critical thinking skills. The purpose of this study was to examine if years of experience and level of education affect critical thinking skills of physical therapists. Participants included 100 pre- and post-MPT graduates. Ages ranged from 20-60 years old with 40% of the participants holding a bachelor degree, 48% an entry-level masters degree in physical therapy (MPT), and 18% an advanced graduate degree in addition to the MPT. Years of experience ranged from 0-33 years. Participants were recruited through electronic mail. Accepted study participants completed both an online demographics questionnaire and the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA), a measure of critical thinking skills. The WGCTA has been shown to have both validity and reliability, in addition to being a widely used critical thinking appraisal tool. Two one-way ANOVA (analysis of variance) revealed a significant difference between critical thinking scores of those with less than one year experience compared to those with greater than 10 years of experience, and a significant difference between critical thinking scores of those with a bachelor degree compared to those with an MPT degree. A 3 x 3 ANOVA revealed no significant difference when looking at the interaction between participants with a bachelor degree and less than 10 years of experience compared to participants with a doctorate and greater than 10 years of experience. This suggests years of experience and level of education alone are not enough to affect critical thinking scores. Further, the WGCTA may not be an appropriate assessment tool when assessing critical thinking skills of persons with post graduate degrees.
|School:||University of Cincinnati|
|Department:||Curriculum and Instruction|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Critical thinking, Physical therapy education, Skills, Therapists, Thinking|
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