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American Physiotherapy Association (APA)
Organization (formerly called the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association) responsible for maintaining high standards and education programs for physiotherapists; precursor to APTA.
American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association
First national organization representing “Physical Therapeutics.”  Established in 1921 to maintain high standards and provide a mechanism to share information.
Autonomous practice
Services provided by physical therapist using independent, professional judgment within their scope of practice.
individual who seeks the service of a physical therapist to maintain health, or a business that hires a physical therapist as a consultant.
Core values
Seven characteristics that define and describe professionalism in physical therapy: accountability, altruism, compassion and caring, integrity, professional duty, and social responsibility.
Evidence-based practice
Interventions used in physical therapy, based on research that demonstrated the reliability and validity of the procedures.
Guide to Physical Therapist Practice
Extensive description of the roles and scope of practice of a physical therapist. Describes tests and measures and procedural interventions for patients/clients for musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and pulmonary, and integumentary conditions.
Nation Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (“The Foundation”)-
established in 1938 in response to repeated polio epidemics. Established to provide research, education, and patient services. Provided substantial support for the profession and practice of physical therapy.
- individual who has a disorder that requires interventions to improve function.
Title given to Physicians who specialize in physical medicine.
Physical therapist(PT)
Professional who works to evaluate, treat, and/or prevent physical disability, movement dysfunction, and pain resulting from injury, disability, disease, or other health related conditions.
Physical therapy
Assessment, evaluation, treatment, and prevention of physical disability, movement dysfunctions, and pain resulting from injury, disease, disability, or other health-related conditions.
Synonym for physical therapist, commonly used outside of the United States.
Synonym for physical therapy, commonly used outside of the United States, used by the first national organization, American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association.
Career or means of employment demonstrating five characteristics: commitment to field, a representative organization, knowledge in specific area, social service, and recognized autonomy.
Reconstruction aide
Aide (exclusively a women) responsible for providing physical reconstruction to persons injured in war; forerunners of the profession and practice oh physical therapy in the United States.
Vision 2020
A statement (and sentence in abridged version) adopted by the American Physical Therapy Association House of Delegated in 2000 that established expectations for the practice of physical therapy in the year 2020. It addresses six components: autonomous practice, direct access, practitioner of choice, doctor of physical therapy, evidence-based practice, and professionalism.
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