The relationship of physical therapy student characteristics and clinical site characteristics to the students' performance on the National Physical Therapy Examination

Deborah Ann Edmondson, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The educational process of becoming a physical therapist transforms lay persons into health care professionals. Clinical education experiences advance students along a continuum from novice to entry-level clinician. The students at Tennessee State University must pass a comprehensive examination before proceeding to the clinical education experiences then, pass a licensing examination. ^ Few studies address the relationship of factors inherent in clinical sites to the students' performance on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) or how a comprehensive examination relates to performance on the licensing examination. There are no studies relating students' scores on the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PTCPI) to their performance on the NPTE. The study addressed the weaknesses in the literature. The study purposed to help educators better prepare students for the NPTE. ^ The following research questions guided the study: how do the students' scores on the senior comprehensive examination relate to their initial and highest scores on the NPTE?; how do the PTCPI scores relate to the students' initial and highest scores on the NPTE?; how do clinical site characteristics relate to the students' initial and highest scores on the NPTE?; and how do clinical instructor characteristics relate to the students' initial and highest scores on the NPTE? ^ The study employed a quantitative design using non-experimental and correlational techniques. The following data were used in the study: scores from the NPTE, scores from the PTCPI, comprehensive examination scores, and data from the Clinical Center Information Form (CCIF). A Linear Regression Analysis was used to answer the first research question. A Multiple Regression Analysis was used to address the remaining questions. Participants came from the 1996 to 1999 graduates of Tennessee State University's Physical Therapy program. ^ The results indicated a positive relationship between the NPTE scores and the following: the comprehensive examination scores; certain PTCPI scores, some clinical instructor characteristics, and some clinical site characteristics. A negative relationship between certain other clinical site characteristics and the NPTE scores was found. ^ Knowing how student and clinical site characteristics relate to performance on the NPTE will help educators prepare candidates for the examination and improve the PTCPI. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Education|Health Sciences, Rehabilitation and Therapy|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Deborah Ann Edmondson, "The relationship of physical therapy student characteristics and clinical site characteristics to the students' performance on the National Physical Therapy Examination" (2001). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3007561.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3007561

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