tDPT Course Listing and Descriptions

Pathophysiology PTH 631 (3)

This course provides the foundational basis for physical therapists to engage in screening and differential diagnosis in each of the preferred practice patterns defined in the Guide of Physical Therapist Practice:  Musculoskeletal, Neuromuscular, Cardiopulmonary, and Integumentary/Systems. This course integrates tissue pathology with clinical signs and symptoms of dysfunction, tests/measures used in the physical therapy examination, prognosis, plan of care and interventions.


Research Methods PTH 670 (3)

This course provides an introduction to the concepts which guide physical therapy scientific inquiry and evidence for practice. The structured requirements for both quantitative and qualitative studies are explored along with their respective threat to validity, research error, and generalized ability. Sample hypotheses will be matched with appropriate designs and statistical computation.


Clinical Research PTH 674 (3)

This course is designed to introduce or reintroduce students to the basic and advanced concepts, techniques, and principles of critical inquiry using applied clinical research. The focus will be on understanding quantitative aspects of clinical research literature. Topics to be investigated include measurement theory and the scientific method: the research process, experimental design, hypothesis construction and testing, measurement scales, sampling, indices of validity and reliability, statistical analyses, and critical evaluation of occupational language of statistics and what those statistics mean.


Documentation PTH 678 (2)

A comprehensive study of the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice will be undertaken. This document is now accepted nationally as the foundation for legal and ethical standards of practice. Current expectations for documenting patient care for medical records, reimbursement and verification of rehabilitative progress are explored. Variances required accommodating for differences across practice settings, client demographics, and fiscal resources are also included.


Evidence Based Practice PTH 680 (3)

This course is designed to prepare physical therapists with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to make independent judgments about the validity of clinical research and to implement evidence-based clinical practice in their careers. This course will focus on the concepts of evidence-based practice with emphasis on forming answerable clinical questions and effective literature will prepare the students to judge the evidence on:  1) the accuracy and validity of diagnostic tests; 2) the effectiveness of clinical interventions; 3) the natural history of medical conditions; 4) risk of harm from select preventative and therapeutic interventions. Based on presentation of case scenarios, students will be required to formulate the key question(s), rapidly search the medical databases, appraise the evidence with the critical analysis and describe application of the evidence in a clinical context.


Differential Diagnosis PTH 690 (3)

Covers advanced concepts of probability based differential diagnosis as related to physical therapy practice. This course describes how to determine the current evidence for diagnosis using properties of diagnostic tests such as sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios and predictive values. Pathology of the major body systems and regions will be covered with current evidence based practice diagnostic standards as they are available in the professional literature. Competencies gained through the course are intended to help prepare the physical therapist to function as a direct access provider capable of making highly accurate diagnostic decisions according to the best available evidence.


Diagnostic Tests PTH 694 (2)

This course is designed to cover the fundamental principles of radiographic imaging procedures, clinical laboratory methods, and interpretative of EKG, EEG, and EMG data. Students are expected to integrate the diagnostic utility of these procedures into clinical decision-making. Skill development necessary to recognize common normal and abnormal findings is the primary focus of this course.


Clinical Pharmacology PTH 759 (2)

This course is designed to increase the experienced therapist’s understanding of the latest concepts in drug pharmacology. The principles of pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacokinetics of broad categories of drugs will be emphasized. Special emphasis is placed on applying this knowledge to a spectrum of clinical problems which interact with various physical therapy interventions.


Primary Care PTH 794 (2)

This course presents the framework for physical therapists to assume roles and responsibilities as primary care practitioners with respect to clinical reasoning and decision making. Disablement models, reflective practice theories and patient care management models are examined in depth. This course emphasizes the patient as the primary source of data. It presents the principles of evidence-based practice and provides opportunity to develop skills in constructing, finding and analyzing evidence. The concept of responsibility for the level of decision-making expected in a doctoring profession permeates the course.


Health Disparities PTH 795 (3)

This course is designed to introduce graduate physical therapists to the concepts of health disparities which exist as a consequence of race, ethnicity, social economic status or culture. The roles of health status indicators, cultural competency, and access to health services are debated. Students use national data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the US Office of Minority Health, and the National Institutes of Medicine to construct arguments for the elimination of health disparities. The capstone experience in the course requires that students present a “model” for interventions designed to reduce health disparities in their local PT Practice.


Professional Seminars PTH 799 (1)

These courses will expose students to new theories and treatment techniques that are utilized by physical therapy practitioners. Advanced training in a technique may also be covered in this seminar. Students may enroll in and receive credit for this class up to four times. The seminars are:


  • PTH 799.3 Professional Seminar: Applied Clinical Research in PT Practice (1)

    In this seminar, students will identify a clinically appropriate research topic. The student will critically appraise the current literature on the chosen topic, identify an appropriate method/research design (case report, single-system, quasi-experimental, experimental, etc.) and describe in detail how the applied research project would be completed.
  • PTH 799.4 Professional Seminar: Contemporary Issues in PT Practice (1)

    In this seminar, students will identify a specific contemporary issue in physical therapist practice in which clear process guidelines have not been established. The student will critically appraise the current literature on the chosen topic, present findings in the form of a met-analysis, and indicate the clinical implications of their findings in the form of a professional paper or presentation.
  • PTH 799.5 Professional Seminar: Case Analysis in PT Practice (1)

    In this seminar, students will identify a specific patient/population case and analyze the case using a model of enablement, disablement, or clinical decision making appropriate for current physical therapist practice. A thorough literature review and implications for clinical practice will be components of the case analysis process.
  • PTH 799.6 Professional Seminar: The Doctoring Profession (1)

    In this seminar, students will be introduced to the roles and responsibilities of members of doctoring professions. Topics include autonomous practice, professionalism, legal and ethical issues, life-long learning, and professional competency.