This study evaluated the self-assessed competence differences between bachelor-prepared and master's-prepared physical therapists against the competencies of a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Influenced by a theoretical framework of expertise development in physical therapy (Jensen, Gwyer, & Sheppard, 2000) the correlational study design attempted to identify if differences exist and if specific professional characteristics contribute to self-assessed competence. A sample of 1284 physical therapists were stratified into Bachelor (n = 999) or Masters (n = 285) entry-level education groups. All subjects had completed the Physical Therapist Evaluation Tool (PTET) prior to enrollment in a Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (TDPT) degree program. The Task Analysis score from the PTET was used as the dependent variable representing self-assessed competence. Results showed no difference in the self-assessed competence of either Bachelor or Masters Entry-level therapists when comparing themselves to outcome competencies of the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. In the Bachelor Entry-level group, only 2% of the Competence could be attributed to certifications, time in practice, and location of education. Professional characteristics of time in practice, certifications, location of education, or entry-level education did not contributed significantly to the self-assessed competence of Masters Entry-level subjects in contrast to the theory of expertise development which include professional characteristics as inputs to expertise. Based on these results, self-assessment tools and professional characteristics cannot be used individually to determine competence in physical therapists. The role of self-assessment in the development of expertise needs to be further studied.
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Physical therapy, Adult education, Health education|
|Keywords:||Competence, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Physical therapy, Prior learning, Professionalism|
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