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Manca Opara1, Katarina Kolenc Klen1, Ziga Kozinc1,2

1University of Primorska, Faculty of Health Sciences, Izola, Slovenia
2University of Primorska, Andrej Marušič Institute, Koper, Slovenia

Impostor Syndrome in Physiotherapy Students: Effects of Gender, Year of Study and Clinical Work Experience

Sport Mont 2023, 21(1), 37-42 | DOI: 10.26773/smj.230206


Impostor syndrome (IS) manifests as fear of being exposed as incompetent, despite exceptional professional achievements. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of IS among physiotherapy students and to investigate whether there are significant differences according to demographic variables. Data were collected using the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS), and participants were categorized into one of four groups based on the expression of IS characteristics. We found that IS occurs in the majority of physiotherapy students. Females achieve higher overall CIPS scores compared with males, but the proportion of males and females in each category of IS characteristics is similar. The expression of IS decreases with increasing age, length of clinical work experience, and year of study. Physiotherapy students with clinical work experience have fewer IS characteristics than those without clinical work experience. Study programs and clinical settings in which physiotherapy students receive practical training should pay more attention to raising awareness of IS in order to protect individuals who are particularly vulnerable to the negative consequences of IS.


imposter syndrome, impostor phenomenon, physical therapists, students, well-being

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