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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

Ann Williams, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

Alta Hansen, PhD, PT


The purpose of this study was to determine the most common burn therapy techniques used by physical therapists who work in acute hospital settings. This study compared the surveyed responses between two regions of the United States. Region 1 included Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Nevada with a total of 101 physical therapists surveyed and a return rate of 64%. Region 2 included New Jersey with 110 physical therapists surveyed and a return rate of 49%. The results of' this study demonstrated that significant regional differences exist between age (F = 7.21, 12 = .008), sex (chi-squared = 8.61, p < .005), whirlpool water temperature (F = 20.95, p < .000), and continuing education courses taken (chi-squared = 3.86, p < .05). Other differences occurred in response to surveyed questions but did not statistically show that regional differences exist. The most common burn therapy treatment methods and techniques used by all respondents were: Whirlpool solutions used (Betadine 58%), frequency of treatment (QD 58%), debridement methods (wait for blister to rupture 64%), use of enzymatic debridement (never 38%), topical ointments used (Silvadine 70%), fitting of pressure garments (seldom 38%), custom fit splints (no 62%), and the use of saline solution in the whirlpool (no 87%). Though variability occurs, it
remains statistically consistent between two regions, showing that
this inconsistency may be profession wide and not attributed to
regional factors.


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