Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Wagner, S. 2023. The Importance of Mood and Motivation of an Individual in the Success of Physical Therapy. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Spencer Wagner 2023.


Physical therapy is a health profession that helps people improve their movement and range of motion in certain body areas. Since the time it was founded, physical therapists have mainly focused on the physical health of the patient. While that is their job, they may not have been as successful because they neglected the mental health of the patient. The mindset of an individual, particularly their mood and motivation, can influence how they progress through physical therapy and how successful they are in regaining functionality in their affected body area. The purpose of this study is to determine how the mood and motivation of an individual affects their success in physical therapy and what strategies physical therapists can use to motivate their clients by looking at a group of individuals undergoing physical therapy at a clinic. The results of this study showed that the participants with a positive mindset had greater progress in rehabilitation relative to average standards compared to the participants that had a negative mindset. This indicates that the mood and motivation of an individual are positively correlated with a successive outcome in rehabilitation and physical therapists can improve a client's mood by building a relationship with them and motivating them through incentives. The physical needs of a patient are the main concern of physical therapists, but seeing to their mental needs as well can result in a better functionality of their affected body area.