Factors associated with cervical arterial dysfunction: a survey of physical therapist educators in the United States

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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to identify the key constructs associated with symptom description and behavior, natural history of complaints, and previous medical history of cervical arterial dysfunction (CAD) according to a panel of physical therapist (PT) educators. Methods: An electronic survey was conducted of licensed PT educators currently involved in musculoskeletal physical therapy education within a credentialed program. Survey prompts queried educators to list the subjective and objective items associated with CAD, in open-text format. Responses were coded to identify unique themes (constructs). Principal axis factor analysis with Varimax rotation was performed to identify underlying constructs associated with CAD according to the panel of educators. Results: Seventy-two educators completed the survey (24.2% response rate) resulting in 50 identified unique items through thematic coding. Factor analysis (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy = .679, Bartlett’s test of sphericity (x 2(351) = 1129.06. p < .001), resulted in a four-factor solution: ‘5Ds and 3 Ns,’ ‘Other Neurological Findings,’ ‘Signs & Symptoms in Rotation and/or Extension,’ and ‘General Health.’ Discussion: According to the PT educators in this study, the factors associated with CAD appear to reflect the IFOMPT guidelines. The responses and subsequent factor analysis demonstrate the lack of any one clinical finding for the identification of CAD in a patient with neck pain. Level of Evidence: V.

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