Called to Care

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



In 1998, Dr. Martin Seligman challenged the field of psychology to broaden its focus to study and implement interventions that enable human flourishing. This capstone builds upon the momentum and success of this call to action by integrating evidence-based positive psychology topics and interventions into the practice of physical therapy. The initiative, Called to Care, trains physical therapists in key topics and interventions deemed practical and portable from the science of positive psychology that we anticipated would increase key clinical qualities including empathy, listening, and positivity, with the goal of facilitating better patient experiences, renewing or enhancing physical therapists' sense of purpose, and providing a differentiated business value proposition. Forty physical therapists participated in blended training that included experiential, didactic, collaborative, and a self-paced online portal. Therapists' shift in behavior was evaluated by 1314 physical therapy patients using the Consultation and Relational Empathy (CARE) Measure, a validated instrument that assesses key clinical experiences including empathy, listening, and positivity. The results, when compared to a normative database of physiotherapists who did not receive training, showed significant improvements among Called to Care trained physical therapists on all ten questions and overall score. Future endeavors include deploying the Called to Care platform to practicing physical therapists in the U.S. and internationally, integrating it into entry level training, and expansion to other healthcare providers. Integrating practical and portable evidence-based positive psychology topics positively impacts patient healthcare experiences. Implications suggest that such training and curriculum should be part of healthcare providers' training.




Empirical Study

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Date Posted: 19 December 2014