Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dianne Cooney-Miner

Second Supervisor

Cynthia McCloskey

Abstract

Problem Statement Core competencies are expanding in physical therapist practice to include practice management knowledge and skills (Guide; Lopopolo, Schafer, & Nosse, 2004). There appears, however, to be minimal integration of these skills into entry-level preparation (Lopopolo, et. al; Schafer, Lopopolo, Luedtke-Hoffmann, 2007). Purpose The purpose of this research study is to identify the perceptions of physical therapist faculty of the driving and restraining forces to integrating practice management skills into accredited entry-level physical therapist programs in the United States. For this study, the FINHOP framework (finance, information management, networking, human resource management, operations, planning and forecasting) will provide a working definition of these skills (Schafer, et.al, 2007). Research Question The purpose of this research study is to identify the perceptions of physical therapist faculty of the driving and restraining forces to integrating practice management skills into accredited entry-level physical therapist programs in the United States. Methods A qualitative method was selected as the design for this research study. Focus groups, participant journal entries, member checking, and bracketing or EPOCHE for the researcher were used for data collection. Significance New graduates in physical therapy are expected to be prepared to fulfill multiple professional roles, including administration or management (Guide). Yet, practice management content is often viewed as being discrete from, and to some extent less critical than, what is seen as more essential content (Lopopolo and Schafer, 2004). Despite evidence that shows the need to integrate these skills into entry-level physical therapist education, there still remains a gap in the curriculum (Lopopolo and Schafer). Investigating a model of planned change may provide some insight into this phenomenon occurring within the physical therapist profession.

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