Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

Advisor 1

Tiffany Barrett

Advisor 2

Keoni Kins

First Committee Member

Merrill Landers

Second Committee Member

Daniel Young

Number of Pages



Importance: To determine feasibility and benefits of student led back school in an underserved population. Perceptions were positive support benefits for all participants. Objective: To evaluate perceived benefits for uninsured participants, students, and faculty with implementation of an evidence based, student led back school. Design: Eight DPT students created curriculum delivered over two days of two-hour classes, one week apart including screening and abbreviated evaluation of LBP, group education, specific exercise selection, and home exercise program assignment. Following first session, analysis performed to improve subsequent sessions. Setting: Cooperative effort between the pro bono clinic, Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas Doctorate of Physical Therapy (UNLVPT) program in Las Vegas. Participants: Eight SPTs, two UNLVPT faculty members, twenty-three VMSN patients. Students developed and implemented back school with supervision of faculty. All VMSN participants were 18 years or older with LBP and no red flags. Participants attended back school and provided feedback after class two. 19 of the total 45 patients screened did not return for class two nor complete surveys. Interventions: Screening (30 minutes), individualized exercise (60 minutes), and group education (15-30 minutes). Screening completed class one, both classes approximately two hours. Main Outcomes and Measures: All participant feedback collected through surveys at end of 2nd class of each session including Likert-scale and open-ended questions. Student and faculty perceptions collected after all 4 sessions. Results: All participants reported increase in functional activities, felt educated, and that home exercises were appropriate. All students agreed they improved communication skills, and increased empathy for uninsured patients. Faculty found this program beneficial personally, for UNLVPT, and agreed it would be feasible for another program to replicate. Conclusions and Relevance: Overall reported perceptions were favorable. Patients perceived understandable education, individualized care, and some decreased pain. Students perceived improved therapeutic relationships, desire to work with underserved populations, and professional development characteristics. Faculty generally perceived the program beneficial to all participants. Study may not be generalizable due to regional differences and startup costs; however, it may encourage other programs to develop similar service learning and pro-bono programs.


Back School; Pro-Bono Clinic; Student-Led; Feasibility; Perceptions


Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy

File Format


File Size

3.972 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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