Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Susan H.N. Jeno


American Physical Therapy Association; North Dakota Physical Therapy Association


The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is the professional association for physical therapists. The North Dakota Physical Therapy Association (NDPTA) is its section that serves the state of North Dakota. With tougher times falling upon the profession in recent years, therapist membership levels have dropped at an alarming rate. An attempt was made through this study to determine the role the APT A and NDPTA plays in member's and nonmember's lives and the role they would like it to play.

Surveys were sent to all of the 339 registered physical therapists in North Dakota. Each was asked to complete the two-page form containing a variety of questions regarding the therapist's professional situation and their feelings toward the APTA and NDPT A. A database was compiled with the 201 (63%) surveys returned by the imposed deadline.

Several factors were found to increase therapist involvement in the APT A. These factors included employer encouragement, increased annual income, and employment position. Association members were identified as using more APTA resources. The members felt the cost of annual membership dues was justified. Many therapists viewed the APT A as filling their needs for a voice in Washington and providing informational publications and discounts on continuing education. The advantages of the NDPT A that were identified included communication and social issues. But, there were several areas Vll therapists perceive their need to be unfulfilled. A prosperous future of the APTA and NDPT A may depend on how these needs are met.