The development and testing of APTA clinical performance instruments

Kathryn Roach*, Jody Gandy, Susan S. Deusinger, Sherry Clark, Pamela Gramet, Barbara Gresham, Paul Hagler, Rebecca Lewthwaite, Bella J. May, Babette Sanders, Michael J. Strube, Yolanda Rainey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose. The purposes of this article are to describe the process of developing the physical therapist (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) Clinical Performance Instruments (CPIs) and to present the available information on the psychometric properties of each instrument. Subjects. Two hundred seventeen PTA students and 282 PT students participated in the pilot studies of the CPIs, and 181 PTA students and 319 PT students participated in field studies. Methods. To construct each instrument, content was first gathered from a variety of instruments and American Physical Therapy Association documents related to PT and PTA practice and education. Data compiled during the pilot and field study phases of the project led to the construction of the fourth (final) versions of the CPIs, which although not studied are currently in use. Results. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC [2,1]) measuring the interrater reliability of the CPI total score were good (ICC=.87) for the PT total score and moderate (ICC =.77) for the PTA total score. Construct validity was supported by the substantial differences in mean CPI score for students completing first as compared with final clinical experiences, by the correlation between CPI item scores and total days of clinical experience, and by the lack of correlation with the Social Skills Inventory score. Discussion and Conclusion. Sale of the fourth (final) versions of the PT CPI occurred in November 1997 and of the PTA CPI in March 1998. Data based on psychometric evaluation of the final version have not yet been collected and reported. In the task force's opinion, the third drafts can provide reliable and valid measurements of PT or PTA student clinical performance. The fourth versions were based on this iteration. [Task Force for the Development of Student Clinical Performance Instruments. The development and testing of APTA Clinical Performance Instruments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-353
Number of pages25
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2002


  • Clinical education
  • Education, physical therapy
  • Evaluation
  • Student outcomes assessment
  • Student performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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