Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Archer, D. Eric

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Physical therapy; Higher education; Educational tests & measurements; Physical therapists--Training of--Research; Physical therapists--Professional ethics--Research; Physical therapy--Vocational guidance--Research; Medical students--Education (Higher)--Research


Measures of student professionalism are being incorporated into both formative and summative assessments of students in medical and health professions education to heighten awareness of professionalism expectations, evaluate change over time, assess outcome of educational activities, and determine competency for progression. The Professionalism in Physical Therapy: Core Values Self-Assessment (PCVSA) was developed to measure the frequency of behaviors that represent professionalism in both students and clinicians. However, psychometric analysis has not been conducted on this tool despite its use in physical therapist education. Using Messick's unified construct-based conceptualization of validity, the investigator gathered evidence to evaluate the validity of PCVSA scores used to measure professionalism in physical therapist students. The investigator conducted multiple analyses that revealed many risks to the validity of scores from this assessment. The results indicated that the total PCVSA score had greater score consistency, stability, and reproducibility than did the seven subscale scores. However, issues regarding content, structure, and generalizability prevent this tool from having summative assessment utility in physical therapist education programs. Minimal detectable change scores were calculated and may be used for formative assessment to track development of professionalism behaviors over time. Limitations to this study include lack of sample diversity and small sample size for Part 3 of the investigation. Future research should explore content validity evidence for this tool and risks to validity using a more diverse sample.


Advisors: D. Eric Archer.||Committee members: Kathy D. Hall; Tom J. Smith.


166 pages




Northern Illinois University

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