Nationwide Survey of School-Based Physical Therapy Practice

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Purpose:The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act and related literature have implications for school-based physical therapy. This study examined therapists' reports of their actual practice, compared with literature-based recommendations for “ideal” practice, and explored their conceptions of ideal practice.Methods:Participation in an online survey was requested of school-based physical therapists. Analysis of the results compared the therapists' reports of their actual practice with their views about ideal practice.Results:Among the 561 respondents, there was general agreement that actual practice was always or usually consistent with the literature. However, poor agreement was found between their reported actual practice and their opinions of ideal practice. The majority of service delivery was direct intervention. Ninety percent believed they were “adequately” meeting their students' needs.Conclusions:Actual reported practice generally met literature descriptions of ideal practice but not to the extent the respondents thought ideal.

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