Theory-based study of the basic values of 565 physical therapists

Larry J. Nosse*, Lilach Sagiv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose. There is a prevailing belief expressed in the physical therapy literature that values influence behavioral choices. There is, however, meager research on physical therapists' values. A values theory was used to study the organization of physical therapists' basic values and to generate hypotheses about age-related value priority differences. Subjects. Participants were volunteers from the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association (N=565). Methods. Values importance ratings were gathered using a modified Schwartz Values Survey. Demographic data were obtained with an investigator-developed questionnaire. Analyses included descriptive and nonparametric statistics and nonmetric multidimensional scaling. Results. The organizational structure of therapists' values was similar to the theoretical model. Physical therapists rated values associated with benevolence as most important and values associated with power as least important. Three of 7 age-related hypotheses were supported. Discussion and Conclusion. The theory adequately explained the organization of physical therapists' values and provided rational explanations for age-based value priority differences. Compared with occupationally heterogeneous samples, the results suggest that physical therapists highly prize values that benefit others and give remarkably little importance to values associated with power.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)834-850
Number of pages17
JournalPhysical Therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Personal values
  • Social values
  • Values


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