Faculty Advisor(s)

Michael Fillyaw

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2014 Erin Pike and Lisa Gerhardt


Background: The American Physical Therapy Association identified the need for training in evidence based practice (EBP) and set forth guidelines for doctor of physical therapy (DPT) curricula to educate practitioners who are efficient and critical users of best evidence. Since DPT programs are teaching EBP, educators need an assessment tool to evaluate the competence of students. The Modified Fresno Test (MFT) of EBP was validated for physical therapists and the test-retest reliability and minimal detectable change (MDC) has been found for first year DPT students.

Objective: The purpose is to determine the test-retest reliability and MDC of the MFT in first, second, and third year DPT students. A secondary purpose is to compare the mean total score of the MFT among the three student groups.

Design: Test-retest design

Methods: Using a simple random sample, we recruited 21 University of New England (UNE) DPT students from each of the three classes. The participants completed the MFT twice, separated by 14 days, in a classroom on UNE's campus.

Results: Students in the third year class completed the validated 13-item MFT and due to a photocopying error, students in the first and second year class completed an 11-item MFT. The first year students had the lowest 11-item MFT mean score (68.5 points) which was significantly lower than the second and third year student groups (85.7 and 88.2 points, respectively). First year students had the lowest ICC and highest MDC (0.23 and 40.4 points). Third year students had the highest ICC and lowest MDC (0.73 and 23.0 points).

Limitations: We were unable to analyze scores from the 13-item MFT for all three student groups. The rater did not receive training in the MFT scoring rubric. Participation in the study was not a requirement.

Conclusions: The 13 and 11-item MFT has good test-retest reliability for UNE's third year DPT student group. The 11-item MFT has poor to moderate test-retest reliability for first and second year DPT students.


The poster for this research paper can be found here: http://dune.une.edu/pt_studrrposter/1/.

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