Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Education



First Advisor

Susan Roush


The purpose of this study was to investigate student and programmatic factors that may influence doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students’ communication skills and professionalism before and after participating in a first time integrated clinical experience (ICE). Clinical education is an important component in healthcare education, including physical therapy (PT) education. It can take many forms including internships, co-ops, clerkships, and integrated clinical experiences (ICEs). The ICEs have been given specific attention in physical therapy because the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) has mandated their inclusion in DPT curricula. Best practices for ICEs, however, have not been published. This research study looked at Communication skills and professionalism as measured by the psychometrically-developed Interpersonal Communication Questionnaire (ICQ) and the modified American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Assessment Survey. One hundred and sixty participants consented to participate in the study and completed the surveys. Correlations, mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA), hierarchical linear regressions (HLR), and hierarchical linear models (HLM) were conducted where Level one analysis examined how student-level predictors (gender, prior experience, age) relate to the overall student outcomes (Scores on the ICQ and modified ABIM: communication anxiety, communication confidence, interpersonal relations, and conveying medical information). Level two analysis examined how each regression coefficient of level one may be predicted by program level factors (ICE settings, ICE structure). Comparison between the control and intervention groups were conducted. Results of the analysis suggest that communication anxiety is a significant predictor of self-report communication and professionalism. Participating in first ICE was not a predictor of communication skills and professionalism.