Scholarly research productivity is not related to higher three-year licensure pass rates for physical therapy academic programs.
BACKGROUND: In the domain of academia, the scholarship of research may include, but not limited to, peer-reviewed publications, presentations, or grant submissions. Programmatic research productivity is one of many measures of academic program reputation and ranking. Another measure or tool for quantifying learning success among physical therapists education programs in the USA is 100 % three year pass rates of graduates on the standardized National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). In this study, we endeavored to determine if there was an association between research productivity through artifacts and 100 % three year pass rates on the NPTE. METHODS: This observational study involved using pre-approved database exploration representing all accredited programs in the USA who graduated physical therapists during 2009, 2010 and 2011. Descriptive variables captured included raw research productivity artifacts such as peer reviewed publications and books, number of professional presentations, number of scholarly submissions, total grant dollars, and numbers of grants submitted. Descriptive statistics and comparisons (using chi square and t-tests) among program characteristics and research artifacts were calculated. Univariate logistic regression analyses, with appropriate control variables were used to determine associations between research artifacts and 100 % pass rates. RESULTS: Number of scholarly artifacts submitted, faculty with grants, and grant proposals submitted were significantly higher in programs with 100 % three year pass rates. However, after controlling for program characteristics such as grade point average, diversity percentage of cohort, public/private institution, and number of faculty, there were no significant associations between scholarly artifacts and 100 % three year pass rates. CONCLUSIONS: Factors outside of research artifacts are likely better predictors for passing the NPTE.
Cook, CE; Landry, MD; Covington, JK; McCallum, C; Engelhard, C
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