Development of an Instrument to Predict the Likelihood of Pursuing Residency Training among Doctor of Physical Therapy Students


The purpose of this study is two-fold. The primary purpose of this study is to develop and test a questionnaire designed to predict DPT students’ likelihood of application for residency training. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted on an initial version of the questionnaire based on a theoretical framework that included: a) expectancy-value theory (EVT); b) self-determination theory (SDT); and c) instrumentality. Second, this study sought to assess the degree to which the survey instrument can be utilized to identify factors predictive of DPT students' likelihood of applying for residency training within two years of graduation. We hypothesize that DPT students’ who demonstrate distal utility-internally regulated goals, higher scores on items related to self-determination, and place greater attainment, intrinsic, and utility value on residency training will be more likely to apply for residency training.


The initial questionnaire was 54 items. The 23 items from EVT and 28 from SDT were subjected to EFA to determine if the factors matched the theoretical framework described previously. Once an appropriate factor structure was determined, factor scores were calculated for each factor and used in a multiple linear regression to investigate whether these factors were significant and important predictors of applying for residency training (measured on a 100mm scale). The 3 Instrumental goal items and additional demographic factors were also included in the regression model.


Preliminary results of the EFA from 90 valid responses suggested a nine factor solution with good to excellent internal consistency (aplha ranging from.728 to .908) for all scales: autonomy, residency value, competency expectations, cost–social, cost–personal, relatedness–membership, relatedness–interaction, interest–academic, and expectations of the profession. The preliminary regression model accounted for 78% (adjusted R2 = .778, p<.001) of the variance in DPT students self-reported likelihood of applying to a residency program. Further progression in DPT program (Beta = .155, p - .034), higher residency value scale score (Beta = .768, p <.001), and competency scale score (Beta = .198, p = .015) positively correlated to higher likelihood of pursuing residency training. Relatedness-interaction scale score was also significant but demonstrated an inverse relation to likelihood of residency application (Beta = -.304, p = .001). Instrumentality goal type was not significant (p = .066).

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education

The results from this preliminary analysis suggest that SDT and EVT, but not instrumentality goal type, may be useful for understanding the motivations behind DPT students’ choice to pursue residency training. Understanding what motivates DPT students to pursue residency training may be useful for PT educators’ efforts aimed at increasing the number of DPT students who pursue advanced postgraduate specialty training. Continued refinement and validation of the questionnaire and prediction model are planned.


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  • Control #: 2526311
  • Type: Platforms
  • Event/Year: ELC2016
  • Authors: Dr. Raine Osborne, Daniel Dinsmore, Amanda Pascale
  • Keywords:

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