Date of Award

Spring 3-2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Mary Peterson, PhD

Second Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD

Third Advisor

Dan Morlan


Given the prevalence of mental health issues in the United States, increased screening measures are necessary to identify and treat individuals affected by mental health disorders. Literature indicates comorbidity between chronic pain, making those who experience chronic pain good candidates for focused screening efforts. Physical therapists are potential screeners since they frequently treat individuals with chronic pain. A survey sent to physical therapists to assess their previous training and attitudes towards mental health issues in the physical therapy environment indicated that the mental health of a patient played a role in the success of physical therapy. Previous training also played a role in the comfort and confidence levels of physical therapists in addressing mental health issues, as well as the actions taken to incorporate mental health into treatment.