This course will consider the clinical decision-making process and clinical reasoning strategies for incorporating the needs of a diverse patient population. Cultural competence in health care describes the ability of health care providers and systems to provide care to patients/clients with diverse values, beliefs, and behaviors. Cultural responsiveness incorporates a lifelong commitment to responding to the needs of patients with an understanding of contextual factors to achieve maximum patient outcomes. This requires individuals to be aware of their own cultural influences and implicit biases and how they may impact perceptions, diagnoses, and interactions with patients/clients as well as how to address these issues in their clinical decision making and daily practice. Topics will include a brief review of The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice Patient Management Model and the International Classification of Function (ICF) Model. Discussion will highlight the use of these models in clinical practice to support clinical decision making and clinical reasoning with diverse patient populations. Health disparities, and social determinants of health with an examination of culturally appropriate practice issues essential for effective service delivery will also be discussed.

Meet our Presenters

Kim Nixon-Cave, PhD, PT, PCS, is an Associate Professor at Thomas Jefferson University in the College of Health Professions as the program director for the DPT program and post professional residency and fellowship education.. She teaches in the area of pediatrics, psychosocial aspects of PT especially cultural competence as well as clinical education. Dr. Nixon-Cave has been an invited speaker at DPT programs on the topic of cultural competency and diversity issues. She has served on national boards for the American Physical Therapy Association including the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, and American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education with the responsibility of developing board certification and post-professional educational programs. Dr. Nixon-Cave developed a PT Pediatric Residency and Neonatology Fellowship program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She has been involved with the APTA initiative for cultural competence and diversity, servicing on the APTA Cultural Competence committee as well as the Diversity 200 committee.

Dr. Nixon-Cave has also focused efforts on addressing the changing healthcare environment and its impact on delivery of physical therapy services nationally. Recognized by APTA as an Innovator for changes in PT practice as it relates to Health care reform. Dr. Nixon-Cave’s clinical focus is developing evidence-based clinical programs and protocols for various patient populations with a specific interest in infants and young children. Quality Improvement Projects have focused on clinical practice, reimbursement, episodic care in inpatient and outpatient practice settings and best practice guidelines.

Dr. Nixon-Cave is a trained qualitative researcher but participates in research studies that utilize different research approaches including quantitative, qualitative, and mix methodologies to explore and examine health disparities, clinical decision-making of PTs, the impact of culture and environment on overall development, and the experience of patients and families and their interaction with the healthcare system. Dr. Nixon-Cave recently completed a research project examining the current practice of board certified pediatric specialists in physical therapy resulting in a description of specialty practice for PT pediatric certified specialists.

Marie Vazquez Morgan PT PhD Dr. Vazquez Morgan earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Therapy in 1993, a Masters in Health Sciences in 1997 from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and her Academic Doctorate in Health Studies from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas in 2006. She has 27 years of clinical rehabilitation experience and has been a faculty member at LSU Health in Shreveport, School of Allied Health Professions since 1997. Dr. Vazquez Morgan has presented research both nationally, internationally, and regionally at continuing educations seminars on community health, cultural competence and inclusion, nutrition, health and wellness, differential diagnosis, and neurorehabilitation. She served on the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Committee on Cultural Competence as Chair 2009, as a committee member on the APTA Cultural Diversity Committee from 2004 – 2010 as well as on the Minority Affairs Committee for the Louisiana Physical Therapy Association. She was honored in November 2006 by Maybelline NY as Outstanding Female Educator of the year, as well as featured in People Magazine in December 2006. She was also the 2014 recipient of the Allen A Copping Teaching Award, and the American Physical Therapy Association Minority Faculty Development National Scholarship in 2003. She was featured in Adelante Movement Magazine in 2015 as a Female Minority Success Story, and recently featured as a healer in the 2018 LSU Health Evening of Healers. Dr. Vazquez Morgan was also honored with the 2020 David Cole Endowed Professorship of Community Health Initiatives, for LSU Health School of Allied Health Professions.

Course Code:


Completion Instructions

Review recorded content, complete assessment with at least a 70% score, download certificate.

Course level


Delivery method



Kim Nixon-Cave, PhD, PT, PCS; Marie Vazquez Morgan, PT, Phd

Learning objectives

  1. Employ clinical decision-making and clinical reasoning strategies that result in better rehabilitation and educational services for patients and clients by utilizing ICF and applying the Physical Therapist Patient and Client Management Model to patient management.
  2. Identify the influence of clinical and non-clinical factors on clinical decision-making in a diverse patient population.
  3. Assess ways that environmental factors, personal factors, and culture impact participation.
  4. Identify the role of cultural responsiveness in clinical decision-making and clinical reasoning to maximize successful patient outcomes.
  5. Identify disparities in health and healthcare for diverse patient populations seen in physical therapist practice.
  6. Recognize how culture and ethnocentrism affect personal and institutional prejudice and how these factors may impact patient/client participation.
  7. Explain the importance of diversity in health care and the challenges and opportunities it poses.
  8. Identify and appreciate how bias and stereotyping can affect interactions with patients and the link between effective patient centered communication and quality care.

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Type:E-Learning Course
Credit Categories

The following credits are available upon completion of these activities.

Total credits:  0.2
Key Dates
Enrollment:Prior to  12/29/2022
Available discounts:
  • Nonmember
  • APTA Member
  • Students
* Prices in US Dollars