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geriatric physical therapy, self-efficacy, social cognitive, social learning



  1. Billek-Sawhney, Barbara EdD, PT
  2. Reicherter, E. Anne MEd, PT, OCS


The practice of geriatric physical therapy continues to evolve and be influenced by numerous external forces. Greater emphasis than ever before is now placed on the role of physical therapists as patient educators. The purpose of this article is to present the Social Cognitive Theory for the education of older adult clients. This theory examines factors such as the interrelationships of behavior, personal beliefs, cognitive factors, and the environment. An overview of the Social Cognitive Theory, its relevant concepts as they apply to the physical therapy management of an older adult client, and application to a case study are provided.