Joshua Prall, Brian Sayre, Steven Taylor, Madeleine Wenger, Michael Ross


Background: The purpose of this study was to assess current physical therapists’ familiarity with occupational health core competencies in the outpatient physical therapy setting. Methods: One hundred and sixty-six orthopedic physical therapists in the United States completed the survey that assessed the familiarity of occupational health core competencies of outpatient physical therapists. This survey was developed based on occupational health core competencies developed through a modified delphi process the year prior, which included: (1) Total Worker Heath, (2) Ergonomics, (3) Functional Capacity Evaluations, (4) Functional Job Analysis and Employment Exams, and (5) On-site Injury Triage. Likert scales were used with 95% confidence intervals. Results: Overall, identification of poor postures, poor lifting mechanics, and jobs requiring significant amounts of repetitive motions (Likert mean = 4.40) and identification of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace (Likert mean = 4.20) had the highest level of familiarity. In terms of On-site Injury Triage, the understanding of OSHA recordable injuries and how physical therapists can alleviate these injuries in the workplace (Likert mean = 2.40) had the lowest level of familiarity. Conclusions: This study is the first to establish the familiarity among outpatient physical therapists on the core competencies needed by entry-level physical therapists graduating from professional degree programs in the United States to practice competently in occupational health. Ergonomics was the most familiar core competency and on-site injury triage was the least familiar core competency amongst orthopedic physical therapists.


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occupational health, ergonomics, orthopedic, physical therapy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejprs.v4i1.171


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