Therapy sessions that do not result in treatment (nontreatment) occur in 15% to 26% of scheduled sessions. The relationship between therapist personality and nontreatment is unknown.
To determine the relationship between physical therapist personality and nontreatment events in the acute hospital.
The relationship between physical therapist personality (Big Five Inventory) and nontreatment was statistically modeled adjusting for other therapist and patient factors.
There were 522 patients and 34 physical therapists with 918 scheduled physical therapy sessions included. The average age of patients was 71 (SD = 16, range = 17-99) and 41 (SD = 7, range 27-54) for therapists. Therapists with higher openness had lower nontreatment, odds ratio 0.93; 95% confidence interval 0.87 to 0.99; P = .045.
The positive effect of physical therapy is minimized when scheduled treatment does not occur. Lower nontreatment is associated with more trait openness. Attributes related to openness (eg, inquisitiveness and problem-solving) should be cultivated. More research is needed to understand nontreatment and guide therapists in hospital patient care.