Scholarly Journals--Accepted

  • “It captures the rawness and reality”: Exploring Student Emotion during an Illness Narrative Assignment in Doctor of Physical Therapy Curricula  Abstract  Purpose. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore first year doctor of physical therapy student emotions when completing a first-person illness narrative assignment within a required Whole Person Care course early in curricula.   Method: First-year physical therapy students from one physical therapy program completed an illness narrative assignment of a known individual with an illness experience using a first-person perspective. Qualitative data from students’ reflections from the open-ended prompt “How did you feel when writing the illness narrative?” were analyzed and coded retrospectively.   Results: Diverse emotions organically emerged from the qualitative data. Coded emotions correlated with 13 of Cowen and Keltner’s 27 emotion categories further demonstrating the wide variety of emotions experienced by students. Student reflection on the illness narrative assignment provided opportunity for emotional engagement pertaining to the human illness experience.  Discussion: The use of illness narrative may meet the needs of novice learners by providing space to connect emotion to the provision of healthcare early in curricula prior to clinical experience.  Students used authentic context to fit new information to previous experience and emotion to create meaning and learning about provision of whole person care. The exploration of emotion within the assignment revealed a wide range of emotion potentially impacting professional identity formation, compassion, motivation, and greater understanding of the human illness experience. This study may serve as launching point for harnessing the power of narrative and emotion to support physical therapy student learning in the provision of whole person care. The results have implications for educational interventions using narrative and leveraging the emotional aspects of learning to advance student professional identity formation and compassionate care early in curricula and contribute to the limited research in emotion and narrative pedagogy in physical therapy education.     Keywords: physical therapy education, emotions in learning, narrative pedagogy, illness narrative, professional identity formation (09/2023)
  • Gang JA, Gang GR. “Pieces of Myself”: The Pedagogical Power of an lllness  Narrative Assignment for Doctor of Physical Therapy Students. Internet Journal  of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. Accepted September 2022.  (12/2022)
  • Gang JA, Gang GR. “Pieces of Myself”: The Pedagogical Power of an lllness  Narrative Assignment for Doctor of Physical Therapy Students. Internet Journal  of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. Accepted September 2022.  (09/2022)

Online Publications

  • Dissertation – Educators,  Experiences, and Environment: Exploring Doctor of Physical Therapy Student Perceived Influences on Professional Identity Formation - Published on Quest February 14, 2023  (02/2023)


  • Dissertation Abstract  This study applies the social cognitive theory to understand doctor of physical therapy student perceptions of professional identity formation (PIF). The purpose of this study was to determine what factors students, in various educational stages, perceived to influence their professional identity development during didactic curricula. Also, this study sought to understand the lived experiences students perceived as supportive or threatening to individual PIF while on campus.  Using a survey with closed and open-ended questions, data from eighty participants, representing three cohorts was analyzed using a mixed methods approach. Quantitative findings from this study indicate that factors students perceived impactful align with previous research in other healthcare education sectors and included faculty as the greatest impact. There was no correlation between factors perceived important and specific cohort. Emergent themes from open-ended questions about lived experiences revealed that what faculty gave; time, grace, vulnerability, authentic learning experiences, and inspiration to be the most significant positive impact on PIF.  Experiences negatively impacting PIF were primarily external, with faculty encounters and program features threatening PIF. The impact of experiences supporting PIF impacted student thinking, feelings, and future behavior while experiences threatening PIF created reduced self-efficacy.  When questioned about the greatest barrier to PIF, students perceive internal factures, or themselves, to be the greatest barrier. This study contributes to the paucity of research in professional identity formation of doctor of physical therapy students and informs program development to support professional identity formation as an educational objectives in doctor of physical therapy curricula. (10/2022)

Scholarly Journals--Published

  • Gang JA, Gang GR, Gharibvand L. Integration of Spirituality and Whole Person  Care into Doctor of Physical Therapy Curricula: A Mixed Methods Study. Journal  of allied health. 2022;51(2):130-135.  (06/2022)
  • Gang GR, Wilson CA, Garcia HA, Daher NS, Johnson EG. The art of connection: A model for teaching therapeutic alliance to doctoral physical therapy students within an acute care course. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 2021;35(2):121-127.    (06/2021)