Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Background: A lack of osteoporosis knowledge has been found in a variety of healthcare providers. No previous studies have evaluated osteoporosis knowledge between physical therapists and first-year doctor of physical therapy students.

Purpose- To assess the knowledge of participants attending the course “Innovative Strategies for Preserving Bone Health: A Closer Look at Osteoporosis Management Across the Lifespan”.

Methods: Twenty-one participants participated in a 12.5 hour continuing education course. Eleven licensed physical therapists with an average of 19 years clinical experience and 10 first year Doctor of Physical Therapy students. Outcomes were evaluated using statistical analysis from data collected: demographic questionnaire, pre/post course test, course evaluation survey.

Results: Difference between median scores was statistically significant (Z(26) = -4.468, p < 0.0001), indicating that a learning effect occurred as a result of course instruction. No statistical difference between the knowledge of the therapists and students at the pre-course test (U(21) = 38.00, p = 0.251) or post-course test (U(21) = 39.50, p = 0.282)

Conclusion: The improved mean from the pre-course test to the post-course test demonstrates that a learning effect occurred. The lack of statistical difference between seasoned physical therapy clinicians and first-year DPT students indicates that there may be a gap in osteoporosis education among physical therapists. More research should be done to determine where this gap occurs in the education process and how it can be improved.


Poster presented at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Combined Sections meeting in Anaheim, CA, February 2016.