Results of the 2016 Physiopedia article quality survey

Users rate 87% of Physiopedia articles as Excellent or Good in the 2016 article quality survey

Another idea that came up at the recent Physiopedia Hackathon at ER-WCPT was to involve the Physiopedia website users in providing ratings and feedback on each article on the site. Having established that the majority of the site users are physiotherapists, this would be a valid mechanism to identify articles in need of review and provide a quick and easy to use opportunity for site users to provide constructive feedback where appropriate. The ultimate aim being to improve the quality of the articles on Physiopedia and develop to address the evolving needs of the site users.

As a starting point to explore this approach we have just completed a survey on Physiopedia asking site users to rate the article they were reading and to optionally provide written feedback. Over 10 days, we had 1525 responses from 98 countries on 810 different articles (out of 2,333). In this simple survey we asked users “How do you rate this article? Excellent, Good, OK or Poor” and “Please tell us how to improve the page – Please provide constructive feedback that identifies specific changes that would improve the page. The more detail the better!”.


From the 1525 responses the article ratings were 54.6% excellent, 32.4% good, 8.7% OK and 4.3% poor. 532 written responses were gathered by far the majority of which gave positive feedback on the article and also on the site as a whole.

Examples of positive feedback:

“Looks to me like you’ve achieved an excellent balance between text and graphics. I cannot think of anything to make the page better.”
“No problem with this page one of the better structured medical pages I have read. The video showing the distraction test combined with the written explanation was very helpful.”
“I think the website is perfect the way it is! It gives a lot of medical information about many diseases and their medical and physical therapy management. Keep up the good work!”

The most common themes in the constructive feedback related to improving the site usability as a whole and the addition of more media to articles (e.g. images and videos):

“Better font and bigger writing, more pictures i.e. more reader-friendly”
“It will be great if there are more pictures present next to the related part of paragraph”
“Include more pictures! Other than that, I love this”

In some instances specific feedback on the article was given:

“The angles of 5 and 20 degrees are not accurately demonstrated in the video. When is the test positive? “Discomfort”? Pain? No wonder the specificity drops in recent studies.”

Other more general issues identified related to issues with grammar and spelling and a few cases where content appeared to have been copied from other articles on the web.

Next steps…

The Physiopedia content team are currently analysing this survey data in detail and amendments to identified articles are scheduled to be made over the next few months. Thank you to all those who took the time to participate in the 2016 survey and we hope you will continue to provide feedback in a lower profile, permanent feedback mechanism we will add to the site articles in the coming weeks.

It is extremely gratifying to see that the current articles on Physiopedia are rated so highly by its users and this is testament to the hard work of the many, many editors who have been so generous with their time and expertise to develop the existing pages on the site. However as a constantly developing, community built website there will always been room for improvement. Excellent quality as defined by the physiotherapist site users themselves, across all site articles, is the aspiration that we will continually strive for. This survey has established that the site user community are willing to become activity involved in this process of defining and improving quality and do offer valuable perspectives to facilitate this. Following review, these inputs can be harnessed to direct the efforts of the Physiopedia editing community and the Physiopedia content team to most effectively target their efforts to provide the greatest benefit.

There is an ongoing need for the Physiopedia site as a whole to evolve as the needs of its user community develop over time. This survey establishes opportunities for improvement that exist now and we will be seeking to address these with a site upgrade and redesign planned to go live in early 2017. Remaining open to this continued feedback will enable the site to continue to develop and become an even more valuable resource for the profession in the future.

Want to help?

If you want to get involved in improving Physiopedia there are several options you can consider:

  1. Join the Physiopedia volunteers
  2. Become a Physiopedia editor
  3. Provide feedback on articles as you use the site with the facility to be added soon
  4. Subscribe to Physiopedia Plus and help fund the project while participating in online courses
  5. Encourage your member organisation to partner with Physiopedia – please get in touch for more information