The Incidence of Anxiety and Depression in Physical Therapy Students: III. Methods

The Incidence of Anxiety and Depression in Physical Therapy Students: III. Methods

Sampling Design and Procedure

Cluster sampling was used to sample physical therapy students in the United States. The United States was divided into four regions, Northeast, Southeast, Northwest and Southwest. From each of these regions, two physical therapy programs were randomly selected to which the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and other accompanying checklists designed to measure anxiety and depression were sent. Each school selected was telephoned and asked if they were willing to participate in the study.  None of the schools selected declined to participate, so no further sampling was necessary. The goal was to survey 8 physical therapy schools and receive at least 300 responses (the total number of students enrolled all together in the eight schools was 334), at three different times during the first semester, and at least 3 different times during the 3rd semester.  This translates into the first semester for students enrolled in their first year of the physical therapy program and the third semester for students in their second year of the physical therapy program.

It was hoped that an 80% response rate would be achieved from this same cohort of students.  Three hundred students is a comparable number of subjects to similar studies performed using medical students. Packets were sent to the director of each physical therapy program and administered to first and second year students in Fall 2001, the first day of class or orientation, 1-2 weeks before midterms, and 1 week before finals. Each director was asked to make the telephone number of the on-campus psychological services available at that school in the event that participation in the study elicited a stress response.


Share this:

About the Author

Clare Lewis

Clare LewisClare Lewis graduated from the Professional School of Psychology in 2003 with her doctorate in clinical psychology and in 2005 with her doctorate in organizational psychology. She has been licensed as a clinical psychologist since 2012.  In addition to her psychology degrees, Clare is a licensed physical therapist with an advanced masters in orthopedic manual therapy and an transitional doctorate in physical therapy.  Clare is a certified manual therapist from the Stanley Paris Institute and a fellow of the American Association of Orthopedic and Manual Physical Therapists.  Clare has been a professor in the department of physical therapy at CSU Sacramento since 1996.  She has taught the psychology class and orthopedic class for majors for many years. She practices physical therapy at Remedy Rehab in Sacramento, CA doing orthopedic out-patient manual therapy and volunteers at the suicide hotline for Sacramento County.

View all posts by Clare Lewis

Leave a Reply