Physical therapy students9 willingness to report misconduct to protect the patient9s interests Academic Article uri icon


  • This article presents a study on the ethical dilemma of whistleblowing in physical therapy, and suggests some lines for further research on this topic as well as ways for integrating it in the physical therapy curriculum. The study examines the self-reported willingness of physical therapy students to report misconduct, whether internally or externally, to protect the patient9s interests. Internal disclosure entails reporting the wrongdoing to an authority within the organisation. External disclosure entails reporting the offence to an outside agency, such as the police, professional organisation, or press. The findings indicate that the students view the acts that are detrimental or cause injustice to the patient in a very serious light. In dilemma situations such as these, the students reported a willingness to act. The students also report considerably greater likelihood of whistleblowing internally than externally. The pattern reveals a desire to correct the misconduct coupled with a marked decline in the willingness to blow the whistle as this act moved from the workplace to an external authority.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010