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Practice Analysis of ABC Certified Assistants in the Disciplines of Orthotics and Prosthetics

January 2012


Survey of Practice

PES developed a survey of practice, the Practice Analysis Survey of O&P Assistants, including the following components:

  • Introduction, including a description of the purpose of the survey and instructions for completing the survey
  • Screening questions, to ensure that the respondents were currently working as an orthotic and/or prosthetic assistant, and asking them to choose the perspective (orthotic or prosthetic) from which they would complete the survey
  • Section 1: Tasks, including 40 tasks delineated in association with five domains of practice
  • Section 2: Domains, including five domains of practice
  • Section 3: Knowledge and Skills, including 42 knowledge statements and 20 skills statements
  • Section 4 (Two Versions): Depending on the perspective respondents chose in the screening question, either orthotic or prosthetic Practice Areas and Devices, including percent of assistant work time spent in areas of practice and activities performed in connection with orthotic and prosthetic devices
  • Section 5: Qualitative Questions, including open-ended questions regarding anticipated changes in technology, responsibilities, credentialing and quality of care. In addition, ABC used the study to explore respondents’ reasons for pursuing the certified assistant credential and their perceived benefits of certification
  • Section 6: Background Information, including questions about the respondent’s educational and professional background, work setting and demographic characteristics

Review of Data

PES analyzed the data, developed a description of practice and developed empirically derived test specifications.

Survey Response Rate

One hundred ninety-five (195) Certified Assistants, including orthotic, prosthetic and dually certified assistants (COAs, CPAs and CPOAs) responded to the survey for an overall response rate of 32%. The response rate was derived by dividing the number of completed surveys by the number of valid invitations sent, defined as the number of invitations emailed minus those returned as undeliverable or where the respondent was routed out of the survey due to not being in active practice. This is a very high response rate for an online survey such as that administered in the present study, and provides sufficient data to develop profiles of practice and test specifications.