Descriptive Study Exploring Trauma, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Grit, Resilience and Burnout in Early Career Physical Therapists Licensed five years or less


Up to 25% of physical therapist (PT) students have moderate to severe depression, anxiety, stress, or some combination and 35% have burnout. Little is known about the presence of these problems once students become licensed PTs, nor the presence of trauma, grit, or resilience that may influence chronic stress, depression, or anxiety. The purpose of this study was to describe these constructs in PTs licensed < 5 years. A nationwide cross-sectional study was conducted via email linked to an online survey including the (a) depression, anxiety, and stress scale, (b) short grit scale, (c) brief resilience scale, (d) burnout scale, and (e) demographic questions. Almost a third had moderate to severe depression, anxiety and/or stress. Overall, grit was above average, resilience was below average, the burnout rate was very high. The presence of trauma was a vulnerability factor. Further research exploring interventions to increase resilience and grit is warranted. (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mary Thompson)


Supported by TWU Center for Student Research