Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Physical Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Physical Therapy


The purpose of this study was to examine perceived changes in functional ability among three groups of women: women who have never been pregnant, women six to seven weeks postpartum, and women six to eight months postpartum. Secondary to the paucity of literature pertaining to physical therapy and pregnancy, the authors chose a qualitative design for this study. Thirteen Caucasian women participated in open-ended audiotaped interviews. Audiotapes were transcribed, then data was thoroughly analyzed. Responses were organized into categories and themes discovered between different categories were outlined. The major themes impacting functional ability were psychosocial and physical in nature. Although interesting themes emerged, only minimal declines in perceived functional ability were reported.


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