Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Jared Schlenker


Vestibular rehabilitation (VR) and concussion management (CM) is currently not a specialty area of physical therapy practice, but it is an area that many physical therapists (PTs) choose as their primary clinical practice area. Because there is a need for vestibular rehabilitation practitioners, it is important to understand the factors that influence a PT’s decision to practice vestibular rehabilitation and concussion management physical therapy. On May 19th, 2021, the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) announced that it denied the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy’s request to create a Vestibular Clinical Specialist Certification. The ABPTS stated that vestibular practice is not a specialty, but it is a sub-specialty of neurology. However, at the time of this study, there was not a formal process for approval of a sub-specialty. The purpose of this study was to determine if increasing entry-level education programs regarding vestibular rehabilitation and concussion management in Doctor of Physical Therapy curricula will increase Doctor of Physical Therapy students’ and clinicians’ specialization educational interests. Study participants included physical therapy students and licensed physical therapists interested in vestibular rehabilitation and concussion management. Results of this qualitative study will help guide students and PTs who possess influences to choose a career in VR and CM, help educators better understand how to best structure VR and CM components of the curriculum to enhance students’ opportunities to pursue VR and CM practice.

Available for download on Sunday, August 25, 2024