Of the 630 surveys sent, 42 were returned unanswered due to either address errors or because the respondent did not wish to participate. Of the 588 remaining surveys, a total number of 237 were returned for an overall response rate of 41%. The response rates varied by group with 49% of the specialists responding compared to 27% of the non-specialists. provides general demographic data of the responders grouped by level of board certification.
Based on the described decision process, most of the survey items were used to develop the DSP competencies. All items in Section 1 of the survey (patient/client management model) met the inclusion criteria. Two items from Section 2 of the survey (consultation, education, and critical inquiry) were not included in new DSP competencies. These two items were related to educating professionals and the public to the role of sports physical therapy. The consensus of the revalidation panel was that while these items were very important to the profession and the specialty, they were not items that could be reasonably defined or measured by the methods used to determine those with the knowledge and skill set of a specialist. Seven items in Section 3 (tests, measures, and procedural interventions) were not used to develop DSP competencies. The consensus from the revalidation panel regarding these items was that they were not significant components of the sports specialty practice. These items included tests and measures of ventilation and respiration, prosthetic devices, and neuromotor development, as well as procedural interventions of lymphatic drainage, prosthetic devices, and prosthetic device training. An additional item (conduct test and measures for assistive and adaptive devices) in Section 3 was removed because the revalidation panel determined that this skill did not distinguish sports specialty practice.
One item from Section 4 of the survey was not used to develop DSP competencies. This item was related to the knowledge of legal limitations on the scope of practice. The consensus of the revalidation panel was that this item, while critical to every day practice, did not distinguish the sports specialist from the non-specialist. Additionally, the variation between state statutes and regulations would also make this item very difficult to define and measure using a national set of competencies. The remaining 117 items from survey Sections 1 through 4 were used to develop competencies in the new DSP.
After reviewing all survey results and going through the decision model, the revalidation panel developed new categories for the competencies based on the results and the model of physical therapy practice as described in the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice.6
Once the new competency categories were determined, the DSP panel incorporated the results from Section 5 (weighting recommendations for examination content) of the survey with the results from survey Sections 1 through 4 to determine the relative weighting of the examination content based on the competency categories. Examination and interventions were ranked as the top two weighted content areas by the respondents in Section 5 of the survey, while critical inquiry was ranked as the lowest weighted content area. contains the competency categories with their respective weight on the board exam.
2004 Description of Specialty Practice Competency Categories
In the first three sections of the survey there were significant strong positive correlations between the importance and criticality scales for each item. Because of this consistent relationship, to reduce the number of analyses, the importance scales and criticality scales were summed. Based on the sum of these two scales, the items were rank-ordered by their mean summed scores. The maximum possible score was 6, and 0 was the lowest. Items with means closer to 6 are interpreted as having a greater perceived importance and criticality to the practice of sports physical therapy. contains the top 10 ranked items from each of the first three sections of the survey. While all items from Section 1 of the survey were retained, the lowest ranked of the patient/client management model items were assisting in human performance enhancement; inspection of practice and competition venues for safety risks; and plan, coordinate, administer pre-participation physical exams. Most of the lower ranking items from the tests and measures component of Section 3 were items more traditionally considered to be of greater importance in the domain of neuromuscular physical therapy practice. Examples of these items included tests and measures of arousal, attention, cognition, response to stimuli, and neuromotor development. However, one of the lower ranking items was tests and measures of aerobic capacity/endurance, which had a mean sum score of 3.6. The lower ranking items from the procedural intervention component of Section 3 were primarily items related to physical agents and electrical stimulation modalities.
10 Highest Rated Items for Survey Sections 1 Through 3
contains the top 10 rated knowledge areas based first on importance to the practice of sport physical therapy and second based on the knowledge level required of the sports physical therapist. The maximum score for each of these scales was 3 and the lowest was 0. As evident from , the top rated items, while differing in exact rank order, were considered to be of higher importance and were also items that required the sports physical therapist to function at a higher cognitive level. The lowest ranking knowledge areas on both of these scales were histology and physiology of “other” systems such as endocrine, reproductive, and digestive systems.
10 Highest Rated Items for Survey Section 4
, through contain the items from Sections 1, 3, and 4 of the survey in which specialist respondents differed in their responses from those respondents who were not specialists. These comparisons were made using a Mann-Whitney test. Due to the large number of items in the survey, the use of the Bonferroni correction technique for multiple univarite comparisons was not feasible. As such, the results presented in the tables must be interpreted with caution; however, they do provide some information regarding the possible differences in perception between specialists and non-specialists. The results presented in through are ordered by their survey item number, not in a rank order. There were no significant differences between specialist and non-specialist responses for Section 2 (consultation, education, and critical inquiry) of the survey questionnaire.
Section 1 Patient/client management model comparisons
Section 3 Tests, measures, and procedural interventions comparisons
Section 4: Knowledge areas comparisons
contains items in Sections 5, 6, and 7 in which specialist respondents differed in their responses from those respondents who were not specialists. These comparisons were made using independent samples t-Tests because of the continuous nature of the data. For comparisons that did not meet the equality of variance assumption, appropriately adjusted p-values are reported. Again, the number of items that were compared made the use of the Bonferroni correction technique unfeasible and, as such, the same cautions apply to the interpretation of the results.
Survey Section 5, 6, and 7 comparisons