Project Title: Exploring Leadership Constructs in Doctor of Physical Therapy Students

Faculty Sponsor: Amy Yorke

Department: Physical Therapy



Project Description: 

Background and Purpose:  In an ever changing health care landscape, leadership is recognized as a valuable trait in health care professionals; however it is complicated to measure. Leadership in physical therapy is recognized as an important attribute; however, limited evidence exists in understanding how student physical therapists develop leadership practices.  The purpose of this research is to examine the leadership constructs of personality, self-efficacy, cultural competence, emotional intelligence, and leadership practices of Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) students as part of the development of  transformational leadership, to be used for interdisciplinary interactions, clinical practice, and as leaders in the physical therapy profession.  The hypothesis is that DPT students who participate in the leadership development program will have improved self-efficacy, cultural competence, emotional intelligence, and leadership practices.

Design:  Randomized control trial                    

Methods:  All incoming fall 2015 Year 1 DPT students will complete five measurements supporting the construct of leadership development (1) Personality – MBTI—Form M, (2) Self Efficacy – Shererer Self-Efficacy Scale, (3) Cultural Competence, IAPCC-SV, (4) Emotional Intelligence, MSCEIT, and (5) Leadership practices – Leadership Practices Inventory.  Forty-six, Year 1 DPT students entering fall of 2015 will be recruited and half will be randomly selected to participate in a leadership development program during Year 1 of the program.  Our hypothesis is that students who participate in the leadership development program will demonstrate improvements in the constructs measured.  DPT students will be assessed at three distinct points of the program including Year 1 fall, Year 2 fall, and after completion of final clinicals. 

Discussion/Conclusion:  Anticipated findings from this proposed study will be used to add to the current body of knowledge on leadership development and DPT students.  Findings will serve to inform the faculty at UM-Flint regarding student characteristics and student outcomes and may assist in curriculum modifications.

Student Tasks & Responsibilities: Assist in the execution of the leadership development program including but not limited to: contacting of subjects, develop tracking methods for incentives, track incentives program, track attendance, send reminder/follow up e-mails to participants, and data entry.

Depending on skills, the student may also be involved in data collection, data analysis, and dissemination of results (manuscripts, posters, and presentations).

Minimum Student Qualifications: Student should be proficient in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.  Exceptional organizational skills is essential.  Student should have excellent personal skills since it is anticipated that he/she will have interaction with research subjects. Would prefer to have an undergraduate student who is currently a junior or senior and is planning on applying to the doctoral physical therapy program after graduation.