Men’s Pelvic Health Content in Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy Curricula: A Physical Therapy Clinician Perspective
Pelvic floor musculature is involved in sexual, bowel, and bladder function, organ support, breathing, and load transfer.1 Sixteen percent of males experience pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD).1 Therefore, it is important for physical therapists to adequately screen male patients to identify PFD either for proper treatment or referral to a men’s pelvic health (MPH) provider.
The Academy of Pelvic Health (APH) offers Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) curricular guidelines for Women’s Health content, but to date has no published guidelines for MPH.
The purpose of this study was to gain clinician perspective to assist in the development of DPT curricular guidelines for MPH content.
Licensed physical therapists on the mailing list of the APH.
A mixed-methods survey was distributed via email newsletter. Question formats included: yes/no, multiple choice, select all that apply, 5-point Likert scale, and open- ended response(s). Questions regarding the incorporation of, and barriers to, inclusion of MPH content in DPT curricula were included. Descriptive statistics and frequencies were calculated using various functions in Microsoft Excel®. Qualitative data from free response questions were coded and categorized into themes using a grounded theory methodology.
A total of 203 survey responses were received for quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Student physical therapists and physical therapy assistants were excluded from participation.
The majority of survey participants agreed that inclusion of MPH education in entry-level DPT curricula is important and that it would be best delivered through a pelvic health course within the curriculum.
The data received through this survey may be used to assist in the development of MPH curricular guidelines. DPT programs should implement further MPH content to prepare students for proper screening and treatment or referral of patients with PFD. By doing so, patients will receive the necessary treatment more quickly and may experience improved outcomes.
Johnson, Shani PT, DScPT, CMPT; Anderson, Rachel SPT; Hudoba, Marissa SPT; Fischer, Adam SPT; and Peters, Benjamin SPT, "Men’s Pelvic Health Content in Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy Curricula: A Physical Therapy Clinician Perspective" (2022). DPT Capstone Posters. 19.