Differences in Patient and Practitioner Interpretations of Physical Therapy Terms


  • Zoe Eldredge Brigham Young University


For many patients, physical therapy is the next step after leaving the hospital or is used as preventative care so they won’t need to go to the hospital. One can find catalogs of common physical therapy terminology, but they have yet to be analyzed or compared with patient perceptions of the same terminology. This study aims to gather the preliminary data necessary to provide practitioners with the knowledge and language in order to best communicate with their patients. I found that patients and practitioners differ in how they perceive and, therefore, index certain terminology in physical therapy. The results of this study are pertinent to professionals including linguists, anthropologists, physical therapists, assorted medical personnel, medical professors, professors of Linguistics, etc.






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