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Evaluation of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Guidelines for Training Culturally Competent Physical Therapists
Higher Education Research
Volume 5, Issue 4, August 2020, Pages: 154-161
Received: Jun. 21, 2020; Accepted: Jul. 20, 2020; Published: Jul. 23, 2020
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James McKivigan, School of Physical Therapy, Touro University, Henderson, USA
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Background: Training healthcare practitioners on cultural competence and increasing the cultural diversity of healthcare professionals, may help to alleviate barriers and improve patient outcomes. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has implemented goals and guidelines for the training of culturally competent physical therapists. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether an association exists between physical therapy directors’ self-reports of the implementation of the APTA goals and guidelines and the cultural competence of those directors, and also to examine whether there are racial/ethnic differences in the implementation of these goals and guidelines and cultural competency among the directors. Methods: The study design was a cross sectional. The survey was sent to 225 physical therapy directors who were required to provide information about the implementation of the APTA goals and guidelines, cultural competency, and demographic characteristics. Linear regression was used to test the association between the implementation of APTA goals and guidelines and the cultural competence of the physical therapy directors. Independent sample t-tests were used to examine whether there were racial/ethnic differences in the implementation of these goals and guidelines and the cultural competence of the directors. Results: A total of 47 physical therapy directors responded to the survey. There was no significant relationship between the implementation of APTA goals and guidelines and the cultural competence of the physical therapy directors or significant racial/ethnic differences in the implementation of the goals and guidelines and cultural competence among the directors. Conclusions: Recommendations for practicing cultural competency in the field of physical therapy will need to be supported by further research into other populations. Other frameworks for understanding cultural competence among physical therapists should be explored.
Physical Therapy, Cultural Competence, Guidelines, Program Directors
To cite this article
James McKivigan, Evaluation of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Guidelines for Training Culturally Competent Physical Therapists, Higher Education Research. Vol. 5, No. 4, 2020, pp. 154-161. doi: 10.11648/j.her.20200504.16
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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