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Vision 2020 is the official vision statement of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Drafted by the APTA House of Delegates in 2000, this statement contains 6 elements: autonomous physical therapist practice, direct access, Doctor of Physical Therapy and lifelong education, evidence-based practice, practitioner of choice, and professionalism. Autonomous practice has been operationally defined by the APTA primarily through its characteristics: “Physical therapists accept the responsibility to practice autonomously and collaboratively in all practice environments to provide best practice to the patient/client. Autonomous physical therapist practice is characterized by independent, self-determined, professional judgment and action.” The Section on Geriatrics has undertaken the endeavor to further elucidate this definition to educate and empower physical therapists to practice autonomously for the benefit of their patients/clients and society.


This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in: Hardage, J., Zeigler, S., Blackwood, J., Gravano, T., Hartley, G., Heitzman, J., ... & Miller, K. (2012). Development of a Statement on Autonomous Practice: Practice Committee, Section on Geriatrics. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, 35(2), 82-85.

Copyright © 2012 the Section on Geriatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association.