The purpose of the study was to find out the impact of DPT degree on physical therapy profession. The main focus was to find out if the tendency towards the profession is because of the DPT. There is enormous growth in the profession in terms of many universities/institutes now offer the DPT degree program and significant number of students have been enrolled in the program. The physical therapy history in the country starts from 1955 but up to 2008 it was not a profession of choice. It became a favorite profession since the introduction of the new entry level degree with the Dr. title.
Study design: Cross sectional survey.
Method: A survey has been conducted through a self-structured questionnaire from the fall-2013 newly enrolled DPT students from various institutes of Rawalpindi/Islamabad and Lahore. Only 222 completed questionnaires were included in the study and data was analyzed on SPSS.
Results: 64.4% of the student selected the profession by choice and 35.6% enrolled in the program by chance.52.3% participants joined the profession because of DPT degree and 47.7 enrolled because of the profession itself.97.3% are satisfied with the profession and 2.9% showed dissatisfaction.81.1% are satisfied with the physical therapy scope of practice in Pakistan and 18.9% showed dissatisfaction.
Conclusion and Recommendations: It is evident from the literature review, the studies have been conducted in USA where the DPT degree was introduced that the impact on the profession in all aspects was significant including respect, level of knowledge, skills, autonomy, trust and confidence of the patients/clients .It was proved in this study too that the DPT degree has significant influence on the profession in Pakistan in terms of acceptance in the community, prestige,autonomy and level of education .In the near future hundreds students of physical therapy profession will be graduating from all over the country’s institutes. It is evident from the current statistics that we have a dire need for physical therapy and other rehabilitation professionals but the serious challenge for them will be not enough job opportunities due to lake of awareness in the community as well as among the health officials of the country. So it is highly recommended that the Govt. officials should create opportunities at the basic health unit (BHU) level up to the district and divisional hospitals so the general public has access to these very important health care professionals.
DPT, Physical Therapy, Impact of DPT