Leadership Practices in Year One Students Enrolled in Professional Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs

Purpose/Hypothesis : Leadership has been identified as an important attribute for health professionals, including physical therapists. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Health Policy and Administration Section (formally the Section on Administration) developed a position and model on Leadership, Administration, Management, and Professionalism (LAMP) processes. There are several studies revealing leadership as a needed skill for the new graduate physical therapist. Leadership is described in this study using the transformational leadership theory. Kouzes and Posner, after extensive investigation using the transformational leadership theory, developed the Leadership Practices Inventory: Self Instrument, 3rd Edition (Self LPI) to identify five key exemplary leadership behaviors. There are several studies that reported the importance of leadership in new graduate physical therapists and the physical therapy profession. However, there are no studies that reported the development of the leadership skills in professional entry-level doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students. The purpose of this study was to describe the leadership practices of year one (YR 1) student physical therapists enrolled in a professional entry-level DPT program. The identification of leadership practice of YR1 DPT student physical therapists may provide a baseline measurement of leadership practices of students entering the physical therapy field.Number of Subjects : Students in the first semester of the first year of a professional entry-level DPT program enrolled in six Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited Midwestern universities. There were 74.0% (192/261) available students.Materials/Methods : This was a descriptive study using the Self LPI and a demographic survey. Meetings were held at the six universities with a monetary incentive offered for students who participated in the study.Results : The mean leadership practices of YR 1 DPT students in highest to lowest rank order were Enable, Encourage, Model, Challenge, and Inspire. These results were similar to the rank of the general population, including health care providers, with a rank order of Enable, Model, Encourage, Challenge and Inspire according to Posner. Students were found to be Middle High assessors of the leadership behaviors on the Self LPI. The YR 1 DPT studentsÕ top three Self LPI statements mirrored those of the general population. Age was found to be a significant predictor for all five leadership practices with the greatest impact on the Challenge leadership practice. There was also a significant difference with university affiliation and the Encourage leadership practice.Conclusions : The rank of the five leadership practices provided insight about the leadership practices of students who have just entered a professional entry-level education program for physical therapy.Clinical Relevance : The results of this study provided baseline leadership practices of YR 1 DPT students and recommendations to assist educators with curriculum content focused on leadership development.

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  • Control #: 1725656
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2014
  • Authors: Laura LoVasco, Kristine A. Thompson, Christine Stiller, Sara F. Maher
  • Keywords: Leadership behaviors|Entry-level education|Leadership Practices Inventory

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