Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Radomir Mitic


This phenomenological study explored the current perceptions surrounding patient education in physical therapy (PT), specifically analyzing clinicians managing patients with neurological impairments. The purpose of this study was two-fold. The first objective was to gain a better understanding of how current clinicians provide effective patient education, and the second objective was to gain better insight into how physical therapists (PTs) develop self-efficacy to effectively provide patient education to individuals with neurologic involvement. In this study, four themes emerged: effective patient education is individualized, effective education should include discharge planning, self-efficacy in providing effective patient education improves with neuro exposure and modeled guidance, and self-efficacy in patient education is challenged by professional uncertainty. The information gathered helps PT educators better understand how clinicians approach patient education and how confident they feel educating these individuals. Physical therapy educators can enhance student preparedness for clinical practice by prioritizing patient education and modeling this behavior in the classroom and during clinical education experiences to improve self-efficacy in delivering effective instruction to patients with neurological impairments. This study concludes with a proposed clinical teaching tool designed to enhance the student learning experience during clinical practice. Key Words: patient education, physical therapy, patient-centered, physical therapist perceptions, physical therapy schools, neurologic, self-efficacy