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We are happy to announce that our Research Fellow Dr. Scott Richardson’s research has been accepted for publication. Dr. Scott Richardson’s latest research will be published on The Internet of Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice.

Dr. Richardson has been a FIRC Research Fellow since last year. He is currently an assistant professor at Franklin Pierce University in Goodyear, Arizona. Learn more about his research below:

Title: The Effect of Extraversion On Practical Examination Scores in Students of Physical Therapy

Authors: Scott Richardson (Franklin Pierce University), Zachary Zemanek (Franklin Pierce University), Travis Downen (Franklin Pierce University), Chantsen Rich (Franklin Pierce University), Nate Weltzin (Franklin Pierce University)

Students completing DPT curricula identify at different points along the continuum of introverted or extroverted personality types.  Both personality types have strengths that promote success of DPT students. Practical examinations are an integral part of the training and preparation of DPT students. Based on the patient interaction and verbalization skills needed during practical examinations, do more extroverted students perform better on practical examinations? If this is true, then perhaps resources can be provided to more introverted students to assist with their practical examination performance. Research has shown that medical students can improve their patient interaction skills with specific training. Little, if any, research has been performed documenting which factors play a significant role in determining a physical therapy student’s success in practical examinations.

Given the interpersonal skills required for practical examinations, it is likely that extraversion personality traits may play a role in a student’s success. Previous research has found that physical therapy students generally score highly in extraversion personality trait.  For this reason, the choice was made to examine the effects of extraversion on physical therapy student practical examination success. The purpose of this study is to determine whether a physical therapy student’s level of extraversion positively correlates to practical exam scores.

Participants were a convenience sample of 60 student volunteers (31 female with age range 23-43 years old), recruited from the 2018 (second-year students) and 2019 (first-year students) Franklin Pierce University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the Arizona Campus. Significance was found with Spearman Rho correlation between extraversion and practical examination scores for all participants with rs = .582 (p = .027). These findings indicate that resources may be helpful for more introverted DPT students to assist with communication skills.

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