Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Gerontology Institute

First Advisor

Dr. Leslie Taylor - Chair


Little research documents the impact of communication on the relationship between the physical therapist and the older patient. As key health professionals, physical therapists need to know the degree to which a therapeutic relationship is occurring with the older adults they treat, and what aspects of the communication process can be improved to effectively meet the needs of this unique patient population. This exploratory study examines the relationships between older adults’ perceptions of physical therapists’ patient-centered communication (PCC), and their satisfaction with communication and physical therapy treatment (SPT). The sample consisted of 40 participants from 4 different physical therapy sites, including a hospital-based outpatient department, an outpatient aquatics practice, a sports-based outpatient clinic, and a home health company. The findings indicate that physical therapists’ use of PCC behaviors, especially clarity, empathy, listening, humor, and immediacy was positively associated with older adults’ satisfaction with communication and with physical therapy care.


Included in

Sociology Commons