Benefits of the CSCS Credential to the Physical Therapist

It is the intention of the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential to demonstrate expertise in strength and conditioning principles and implementation of this knowledge into training for performance enhancement. There is in inadequate amount of evidence regarding the value of the CSCS in physical therapist (PT) practice. The objective of this study was to discern perceived benefits of the CSCS in physical therapists. Methodology for this descriptive study included administration of a cross-sectional, online survey to physical therapists holding the CSCS credential. The survey was administered online over 5 months and was comprised of 14 multiple choice and Likert scale questions. Results suggested that 136 participants completed the survey with a 32.1% response rate. Exactly 53.7% of respondents reported their primary motivation for attaining the CSCS was “To further increase my knowledge base.” A majority agreed that the CSCS led to new opportunities in their practice (66.7%), more respect from other therapists (79.3%), and better care provided for patients (77.9%). However, the majority of participants disagreed that the CSCS led to more respect from physicians (66.7%) or an increase in salary (56.7%). Most significantly, 94.1% reported that they would still attain the CSCS credential if they went back in time.

The conclusions from this study suggest that there are perceived benefits in PT’s who hold the CSCS credential. The findings from this study could have a positive affect on the decisional balance in PT’s who are considering acquiring the CSCS credential in the future, though results should be interpreted cautiously due to the relatively low response rate.