Physical Therapy, Research Paper Example


This research project consists of investigations regarding structure and function of American Physical Therapy Association; Texas Physical Therapy Association and Advance Magazine for Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation. It is the researcher’s aim that this study will inform clients as well as Physical Therapy practitioners towards evidence based applications in the practice of the science.

American Physical Therapy Association

The organization, which is today called American Physical Therapy Association was founded in 1921, then the Women Physical Therapeutic Association. Its first president was a female physical therapist by the name of Mary Mc Millian. An Executive Board of Directors formed the nucleus of the organizational structure. Two hundred and seventy four physical therapists have created the charter membership.

Within a decade this liberal professional women’s group was motivated to accept men too. As such, by 1930 men pushed the membership to 1,000 forging a change of name to American Physical Therapists Association. It is now headquartered in Alexandria Virginia and through its presence in the occupational arena has forced respect for physical therapy as a profession comparable to many other health care professions (American Physical therapy Association, 2012).

Physical Therapists, Assistant Physical Therapists and student physical therapists are accepted for membership. To date this professional Organization represents 80,000 therapists through out America. However, membership to APTA is an honor and there are rules and bylaws which govern the structure and function of this distinguished group of specialists.

There is a vision statement which reads, “ physical therapy will be provided by physical therapists who are doctors of physical therapy (DPT), recognized by consumers and other health care professionals as the practitioners of choice to whom consumers have direct access for the diagnosis of, interventions for, and prevention of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities related to movement, function, and health” (American Physical therapy Association, 2012). This is the projected goal towards 2020.

Polices and bylaws which inform the function of this association were first adopted in June, 1970. Since then there have been several amendments to suit the changing trends within the science regarding education, training and accessibility to physical therapy services. There are fourteen articles which direct conduct, structure and function (American Physical therapy Association, 2012).


Article 1 deals with naming, Article 11 Objectives, Article 111 offers details regarding specific functions; Article 1V outlines membership requirements; Article V contains components pertaining to Chapters, Sections and Assemblies, Article V11 outlines Meeting protocols: Article V111 specifies eligibility of house delegates of the association; Article 1X stipulates criteria for selection to the board of directors; Article specifies the structure of committees and councils within the organization; Article X1 offers direction regarding finances; Article X11 relates how official publications are to be distributed; Article X111 outlines parliamentary procedures when meetings are held and Article 1V outlines how amendments are to be conducted (American Physical therapy Association, 2012).

APTA can be found on twitter and maintaining professional ethics is a goal that propels the association to excellence. Ethical standards point towards altruism, respect and accountability. This body supports their members through negotiations during disputes and complaints. In some cases it is influential in finding the most appropriate legal representation also. In this sense APTA can be considered a bargaining agency as well as advocate for every category of physical therapist it represents (American Physical therapy Association, 2012).



Texas Physical Therapy Association

Texas Physical Therapy Association can be considered an offspring of the American Physical Therapy association. It has its own goals, mission statement and vision, which are consistent with those of the parent organization. Importantly, it is not autonomous, but part of the wider structure (Texas Physical Therapy Association, 2011).

The overall mission is to improve accessibility of physical therapy to Texas residents through affordable services. This is also encapsulated in the vision statement which forecasts accessibility beyond services towards encouraging persons to take up the profession as a career (Texas Physical Therapy Association, 2011).

One of the protocols that inform professional practices within Texas Physical Therapy association is its mandatory continuing education in ethics and professional development. This ideology supports policies pertaining to the theoretical basis for ethical decision making when practicing as a physical therapists in Texas; guidelines for proper professional conduct and violation penalties; legal standard of behavior and providing case studies for application of these standards (Texas Physical Therapy Association, 2011).

Last October TPTA proudly presented the historic Reach 100 campaign. The aim of this venture was to achieve 100% student membership. Precisely, every Physical Therapy as well as Assistant Physical student was encouraged to enroll in the organization becoming proud of their professional practice. Key players felt that Texas is a large state and required more substantial student participation in the process of moving forward physical therapy in the scientific world. Importantly they bring to the organization new ideas and knowledge to inform evidence based practice  By Jul 2011 reports were that 14 programs inclusive of PT and APT were gad achieved 100% membership (Texas Physical Therapy Association, 2011).

There is a full calendar of activities planned for 2012 and 2013. These include the annual conference; panel discussions; ethics training highlights; physical management concussion; PT month dinners; Awards ceremonies; discussion on changing roles of PT in health care reform strategic interventions and more (Texas Physical Therapy Association, 2011).


Advance Magazine for Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Advance is a magazine promoting physical therapy as a professional practice, which is accessible to the general population within and outside of America. Anyone has access to the information shared and can be considered a very valuable internet resource for disseminating information pertaining the physical therapy culture. The main focus is on rehabilitation medicine and how it is applied scientifically for full recovery in use of muscles and limbs (Advance Magazine, 2012).

Featured articles include Sports Rehab: Beyond the Rink; bariatric Considerations for obese patients; Aquatic therapy: Post Knee Replacement and many more. Upcoming articles pertain to rehab programs for pediatric clients with esophageal Atresia. The magazine departments are guest editorial/Ad index; staffing scene; calendar/CE; classified marketplace; classified employment opportunities and ADVANCE Healthcare Shop (Advance Magazine, 2012).

February, 6th 2012 ADVANCE for Physical Therapy and rehab medicine featured, cardiac rehab on the cover page and the role of physical therapists in recovery of these patients. Mainly, the cover projected changing roles of physical therapist in response to various levels of rehabilitation within the science (Advance Magazine, 2012).




The foregoing research project offered insights into progress made in physical therapy as a science in terms of its professional organization advocacy; state wide intervention as in Texas for example and magazine Influence in disseminating the information regarding the value of physical therapy and as a science and practitioners within our communities.




Works cited

ADVANCE,”Current print contents.” Advance for physical therapy and rehab. 6th Feb 2012: 1. Web.<http://physical->.

American Physical Therapy Association, “Latest News.” American Physical Therapy Association, 2011. Web <>.

Texas physical therapy association, “Call for proposals.” Texas physical therapy association,

  1. Web <>.