Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Physical Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Physical Therapy


This research surveyed 25% of Orthopedic Certified Specialists to determine the direct and indirect patient benefits resulting from the American Physical Therapy Association specialization process. The newly developed questionnaire included questions pertaining to demographics, professional activities, and professional opinions regarding specialty certification. The results showed a statistically significant relationship between the number of PT’s on staff at a facility and the amount of therapist mentoring. Overall, only 50% of the therapists subjectively reported improved patient care secondary to specialization. The qualitative data showed that many therapists reported providing high quality care prior to specialization. Patients are receiving direct and indirect benefits from specialization, but specialized therapists are not utilized to the fullest extent possible. Many therapists reported negative attitudes toward the specialization process. Overall, this research provided a foundation on which further research can be based.


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