Course Description

Capstone for tDPT

This course focuses on the development of the skills needed by physical therapists to fulfill their role as effective clinical participants in the research process. This course requires the student to carefully review case reports in the literature and use them as samples to help prepare their own case report, which is the capstone project for their Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. After selecting developing a topic/client for their capstone project, the students will prepare a basic ‘case report’ proposal that will necessitate approval by the course instructor followed by the assignment of an advisor. Once the proposal has been approved by the instructor and an advisor assigned a basic case description including a thorough literature review (using APTA guidelines for publication) explanation of proposed examination, evaluation, diagnosis, intervention, and outcome measure(s) should be developed. The assigned advisor will guide the student through the completion of the case report document.


Upon successful completion of this content area, the therapist will:

  • Formulate a case report in approved format. Submit according to instructions
  • Justify the use of case reports in evidence-based practice
  • Distinguish the terms ‘Case Report’ and ‘Case Study’ in the professional literature
  • Propose a patient/client/topic to utilize for your “case report”
  • Distinguish various information sources for an efficient literature search
  • Analyze relevant professional literature to produce an appropriate literature review for the case report
  • Articulate an outline of proposed case report including examination, evaluation, diagnosis, interventions, and outcome measures
  • Decide on clear operational definitions of all variables
  • Articulate the basic ethical background needed to understand how ethics are applied within society and compared to ethics concepts within the research and science writing domain (how ethical principles are derived according to sociology, culture and religion and influence of relativism)
  • Distinguish the basic legal considerations, principles and values used within the US convention of research and research writing including truthfulness, avoidance of bias, manipulation of data and other questionable research practices, selective reporting and misrepresentations
  • Articulate US standard practice of ethical writing including confidentiality, informed consent, HIPAA, general ethical principles in patient care and case report writing, beneficence, APTA Code of Ethics, role of the IRB and copyright laws governing material on the internet