Physical therapists' perspectives on lifelong learning

Julie M DeVahl, Edward P. Mulligan, Susan D. Simpkins, Linda S. Hynan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: In today's healthcare environment, it is critical that allied health professionals maintain and grow the requisite knowledge and skills that defined their competence upon entering the field. Despite a strong emphasis on the attribute of lifelong learning in the physical therapy profession, no psychometrically sound instrument has been developed to assess it. METHODS: The Jefferson Scale of Physical Therapist Lifelong Learning (JSPTLL) was adapted from the Jefferson Scale of Physician Lifelong Learning. A national survey of physical therapists was conducted using mailing lists from state licensure boards from a geographically diverse sample. RESULTS: Out of 7,654 survey invitations sent, 540 complete surveys were returned. The mean score of the JSPTLL was 55.13 (SD 7.4), ranging from 19 to 68. Commitment to lifelong learning had a large correlation to the JSPTLL score (rs=0.51, p<0.0001). A medium correlation exists between the JSPTLL and the level of career satisfaction (rs=0.32, p<0.0001). A small correlation exists between commitment to lifelong learning and levels of career satisfaction (r=0.27). CONCLUSION: The JSPTLL provides a means to objectify the aptitude and beliefs of the physical therapist lifelong learner. Applicability to other health professions can be established with further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of allied health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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