Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Physical Therapy

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_932



Physical therapy is a health service concerned with identifying and maximizing quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, intervention/treatment, habilitation, and rehabilitation. The spheres of practice are aimed at physical, psychological, emotional, and social well-being of a patient/client or population group. Physical therapy involves the interaction between physical therapists and patients/clients, other health professionals, families, caregivers, and communities in a process where movement potential is assessed, goals are agreed upon, and interventions carried out using knowledge and skills unique to physical therapists (World Confederation for Physical Therapy [WCPT], 2011a, b).


Physical therapy is the service provided only by, or under the direction and supervision of physical therapists, to people and populations to develop, maintain, and restore...

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References and Readings

  1. World Confederation for Physical Therapy. (2011a). Policy statement: Description of physical therapy. Accessed March 21, 2012, from http://www.wcpt.org/sites/wcpt.org/files/files/PS_Description_PT_Sept2011.pdf
  2. World Confederation for Physical Therapy. (2011b). Policy statement: Protection of title. Accessed March 21, 2012, from http://www.wcpt.org/sites/wcpt.org/files/files/PS_Protection_Title_Sept2011.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical TherapyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.World Confederation for Physical Therapy, Victoria Charity CentreLondonUK