Forming and shaping of professional identity within pre-registration physiotherapy curricular: A scoping review

Laura Rappazzo, Sara Seagrave, Suzanne Gough

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
140 Downloads (Pure)


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this review was to explore how professional identity is formed and shaped within pre-registration physiotherapy curricular.

DESIGN: A scoping review using the PRISMA guidelines from the Joanna Briggs Institute to capture a range of evidence describing how professional identity has been formed and shaped in pre-registration physiotherapy curricular.

DATA SOURCES: Databases searched included: PubMed 1996-Present, Embase 1974-Present, CINAHL 1961-Present, ProQuest Health and Medical Collection 1938-Present and Google Scholar (2004-Present). Additional studies were identified by scanning reference lists and hand searching for relevant articles.

REVIEW METHODS: The research team collaboratively designed the data charting table and two project leads independently extracted and screened the data as per guidance from the Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewers Manual. A meta-synthesis was conducted in this scoping review to identify common themes from qualitative research to provide a deeper understanding of literature. To ensure feasibility of collating results, components of pre-registration curricular in physiotherapy students describing associations of forming and shaping professional identity were charted.

RESULTS: A total of 21 articles were reviewed. Articles were categorised into three categories of shaping (5, 24%), forming (9, 43%) or forming and shaping (7, 33%). Five themes emerged from the meta-synthesis pertaining to forming and shaping professional identity: self, skills, curriculum, program, location.

CONCLUSIONS: This scoping review illustrates the evidence for multidimensional components of physiotherapy curricular involved to assist in shaping and forming professional identity in pre-registration physiotherapy students. The results of this review can provide a foundation level into the understanding of what professional identity is, although further research is required to understand how it could be best implemented in pre-registration physiotherapy curricular.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105250
JournalNurse Education Today
Early online date13 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


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