Nevin Manimala Statistics

Do Student Physical Therapists Have Grit? The Self-Perceived Effortful Persistence of Students in Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs

J Allied Health. 2023 Spring;52(1):44-50.


PURPOSE: The purposes of this study were to: 1) report levels of self-perceived grit among students in accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs; 2) explore comparisons between grit and personal student factors; and 3) compare grit scores of DPT student to students in other healthcare professions.

METHODS: 1,524 enrolled students were surveyed from accredited DPT programs in the US in this cross-sectional research study. Surveys consisted of the 12-item Grit-O questionnaire and an additional questionnaire asking for a report of personal student factors. Non-parametric inferential statistics were conducted to compare Grit-O scores across categories of gender identity, age groups, year in school, race/ethnicity, and employment status of respondents. One-sample t-tests were used to compare DPT grit scores to those of students in other health professions previously reported in the literature.

RESULTS: DPT students from 68 programs responded to the surveys reporting mean grit score of 3.95 (± 0.45 SD) and median grit score of 4.00 (interquartile range [IQR] 3.75-4.25). Grit-O subscores in consistency of interest and perseverance of effort had median scores of 3.67 (IQR 3.17- 4.00) and 4.50 (IQR 4.17-4.67), respectively. Consistency of interest subscores were significantly greater in older students, and perseverance of effort subscores were statistically greater in African American respondents. In comparison to other studies, DPT grit scores were greater than nursing and pharmacy students and were comparable to medical students.

CONCLUSION: DPT students who responded to our surveys perceive themselves as possessing relatively high levels of grit, especially in perseverance of effort.


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