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In Part 2, we are privileged to bring together a group of outstanding clinicians from across the country to contribute case studies in both written (Part 2) and visual (videos online at DavisPlus) format. The contributing therapists demonstrate an exceptional commitment to student learning. Their collective expertise is reflected in the presentation of the cases, the guiding questions posed, and critical decisions required as students progress through the cases.


The overriding goals of Part 2 are to provide the student an opportunity to interact with the content and to promote clinical decision-making skills by evaluating the examination data to determine diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of care. These case studies present diagnoses familiar to the rehabilitation setting, with an overriding emphasis on improving activities and skills that are meaningful to the patient and typically contribute to improved functional outcomes and quality of life. The cases are guided by the conceptual framework and practice patterns presented in the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice.


We present 15 unique case studies in both written and video formats. The written case content is further divided into (1) examination and (2) evaluation, diagnosis and prognosis, and plan of care categories. Student evaluation of the physical therapy examination data (history, systems review, and specific tests and measures) provides the needed information on which to base decisions in determining the diagnosis, predicting the optimal levels of recovery and the time frame in which this will occur, and developing the plan of care. Challenges to student decision-making are introduced through guiding questions addressing specific considerations of the case example.


The videos presented online ( consist of a 6-minute visual segment distributed among sample components of the initial examination, sample interventions, and functional outcomes. The three segments include a planned time-lapse between episodes of filming to depict patient progress toward, or achievement of, functional outcomes. Most of the case studies were filmed over a 4- to 6-week period. Following is a brief description of each visual segment.


  • Examination (Video Clip 1): The first video segment focuses on elements of the physical therapy examination. Content varies based on patient presentation. The intention is to provide a more complete understanding of the patient's impairments and activity limitations as well as how they affect function.

  • Intervention (Video Clip 2): Based on the contributing therapists' intervention strategies selected to improve functional outcomes, the second video segment presents elements of a physical therapy treatment session.

  • Outcomes (Video Clip 3): The third video segment depicts functional outcomes toward the end of the episode of care (i.e., the efficacy of interventions on the resolution of impairments and activity limitations). Some case studies depict activities similar to those presented in the first video clip (examination) to provide a before and after comparison of the impact of intervention.


During each visual segment, the accompanying narration directs ...

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