The Board of Directors of the Section on Women's Health of the American Physical Therapy Association appointed a task force to provide an update to the 2005 “Guidelines for Women's Health Content in Professional Physical Therapist Education” (2005 Guideline) using best evidence and clinical expertise.
The task force developed and implemented a survey to all accredited physical therapy education programs in the United States as well as all women's health (WH) certified physical therapists. Survey data and qualitative data from facilitated discussion were analyzed, prioritized, and organized into an updated version of the Guideline.
The task force based the updated WH curricular guideline on both systems and patient-client management models.
The updated Guideline includes the following systems: cardiopulmonary, endocrine, gastrointestinal, immune, integumentary, musculoskeletal, neurologic/psychological, reproductive, and urogynecologic. In addition, each condition was organized using the patient-client management model, with key content knowledge or skill paired with educational objectives that could be incorporated into course syllabi. Key content areas also include the level of competence expected of an entry-level student.
The updated Guideline should serve as a comprehensive resource for all providers of WH curricular content.
1Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Duke University Medical School, Durham, North Carolina.
2Physical Therapy Program, Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison.
3Eastern Washington University, Spokane.
4Department of Physical Therapy, University of Mary, Bismarck, North Dakota.
5Programs in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis.
All authors received an honorarium from the Section on Women's Health, APTA, to speak at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, 2012, on the Guideline task force work.