Faculty Advisor

Smith, Gerald

Publication Date

Spring 2018


Introduction: The National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) tests competence in four content domains for licensure. Currently, there is a lack of evidence exploring the relationship between doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program curriculum and the percentage of content domains on the NPTE. Purpose: To explore the relationship between CAPTE accredited DPT program curriculum hours in each content domain and the NPTE content domain percentages. Subjects: 116 CAPTE accredited DPT programs in the Northern United States. Methods: DPT program curriculums were gathered and examined in regards to credit hours designated to content domains tested on the NPTE. The 2013 NPTE content outline and percentages were obtained from FSBPT.org. The average percentages of content domains from schools in their designated regions were compared to the domain percentages on the NPTE. Results: Each region had the following average percentages of credit hours per respective NPTE domain: Physical Therapy Examination, Foundations for Evaluation, Differential Diagnosis, & Prognosis, Interventions, Non-Systems. Mid-Atlantic: 16.4%, 31.3%, 11.6%, 20.3%. New England: 19.9%, 31.2%, 10.2%, 19.0%. East North Central: 23.6%, 20.1%, 16.1%, 21.4%. West North Central: 17.3%, 29.8%, 9.1%, 17.7%. Respective NPTE content domain percentages include: 26.5%, 32.5%, 28.5%, 12.5% Conclusion: Percentage of credit hours in each domain tested on the NPTE varies throughout DPT program curricula. Future research should explore the effects of such percentages on program success on the NPTE.

Access Status

UCF Only