Quality improvement in physical therapy education: What contributes to high first-time pass rates on the National Physical Therapy Examination?

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The purposes for this study were: (a) to establish benchmark metrics for selected variables related to characteristics of physical therapy education programs; and (b) to determine how well a subset of the variables predicted group membership based on first-time pass rates (FTPRs) on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). The population was defined as all physical therapy programs in the United States and Puerto Rico accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Questionnaires soliciting data related to the variables were mailed to the entire population (N = 177). Fifty-eight (32.8%) of the programs returned the questionnaire, with ... continued below

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Palmer, Phillip B. May 2001.

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  • Palmer, Phillip B.

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The purposes for this study were: (a) to establish benchmark metrics for selected variables related to characteristics of physical therapy education programs; and (b) to determine how well a subset of the variables predicted group membership based on first-time pass rates (FTPRs) on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). The population was defined as all physical therapy programs in the United States and Puerto Rico accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Questionnaires soliciting data related to the variables were mailed to the entire population (N = 177). Fifty-eight (32.8%) of the programs returned the questionnaire, with 51 (29%) having provided enough information for inclusion in the study. Characteristics of the sample were compared to known population characteristics in order to determine the extent to which the sample represented the population. Pearson product-moment correlation resulted in a coefficient of .993, indicating that the two groups were similar. Descriptive statistics were calculated. Values for the variables were tabulated in various ways, based on the nature of sponsoring institution, regional location, degree offered, and grouping based on FTPRs, in order to facilitate comparisons. A single institution was selected and comparisons made to demonstrate the utilization of benchmark metrics. Chi-squared tests were conducted to study the relationship between curriculum model, degree offered, and grouping. The resulting values of c 2 indicated that these variables were independent of each other. Classification accuracy was determined through discriminant analysis. Results indicated 80% accuracy for this sample; however, the accuracy was only 47% on cross-validation. Structure coefficients were calculated to determine the relative contribution of each variable to the prediction. The findings demonstrate the usefulness of benchmark metrics for facilitating quality improvement in physical therapy education programs. There is, however, need for improvement in the process, and further research should be conducted to develop a realistic model for predicting group membership based on FTPRs.

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  • May 2001

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  • May 14, 2008, 7:54 p.m.

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  • Oct. 29, 2013, 10:51 a.m.

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Palmer, Phillip B. Quality improvement in physical therapy education: What contributes to high first-time pass rates on the National Physical Therapy Examination?, dissertation, May 2001; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5511/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .