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Title:Professionalization of physical therapists: Relationships between individual professionalization and selected factors
Author(s):Hart, Anne Leota
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Leach, James A.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Health Sciences, Rehabilitation and Therapy
Education, Health
Education, Vocational
Abstract:This research study investigated the ways and extent to which individual members of the expanding health-related occupation of physical therapy were professionalized. According to the literature, for physical therapy to be classified as a profession, physical therapists would be expected to display a moderate to high level of commitment to the essential factors associated with professionalization. The purpose of this study was to identify specific areas and factors that are limiting increased professionalization of physical therapists, and to examine the extent to which educational achievement and participation in research were associated with three essential factors related to increased professionalization: (a) involvement in the occupational culture, (b) autonomy of professional judgment, and (c) participation in continuing education.
The sample consisted of 400 subjects, randomly selected from a population of 3377 physical therapists licensed and residing in the state of Illinois. Data were gathered with a 25 item questionnaire developed by the researcher. Three mailings yielded a 79% response rate. The primary methods of statistical analysis included multivariate analysis of variance, chi-square, and path analysis using multiple regression.
Findings showed that, overall, physical therapists demonstrated low to moderate performance on the three essential factors associated with individual professionalization. In addition, significant positive relationships were found between the levels of educational achievement and participation in research and increased professionalization. However, those physical therapists with high levels of educational achievement demonstrated a decrease in participation in continuing education.
These findings have both theoretical and practical considerations for a wide variety of audiences: physical therapists, health care providers in other marginally professional groups, continuing educators, academicians and higher educators, and health care consumers. The most significant implication is that numerous barriers to professional recognition continue to exist for this occupational group and for its members. It was suggested that physical therapy be regarded as a minor profession. Recommendations for further research were given.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Hart, Anne Leota
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9503210
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9503210

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