Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Physical Therapy


Right to Education legislation has brought physical therapists and adapted physical educators together in the public school setting to serve the child with special needs. Investigation of the role responsibilities of these professionals would facilitate not only communication between the groups, but also understanding of their functions by other school personnel and administrators. We analyzed questionnaires returned by 79 physical therapists and 30 adapted physical educators to determine areas of uniqueness or similarity in 18 identified role responsibilities performed by these two groups. Each subject rated the appropriateness of each role to physical therapists and to adapted physical educators. On 10 of the 18 items, a statistically significant interaction indicated disagreement with regard to the relative contributions of the two professions. On the other 8 items, the two groups agreed that the role responsibility tends to belong to one profession or agreed that either profession could assume the responsibility. These data should provide information to help further delineate the role definitions for each of these professionals. In addition, the most efficient use of available resources may be used to meet the educational needs of these children.


Published: Blumenkopf, Mindy, Levangie, Pamela, Nelson, David L. "Perceived Role Responsibilities of Physical Therapists and Adapted Physical Educators in the Public School Setting." Physical Therapy 65.7 (1985): 1046-1051.