Let’s talk about quality!

Quality is a subjective matter, and at Physiopedia we know this all too well as a result of the feedback that we receive that extends to the far reaches of both ends of the (very roughly outlined) quality scale.  For the people that criticise the quality of the Physiopedia resource, do they ever stop to consider that some of the content is written by highly respected and well-published researchers and clinicians? These contributors choose to publish in Physiopedia because it provides a free, quick and effective solution for knowledge translation.   For the people that can’t effuse enough positivity about all that Physiopedia provides, do they ever critically appraise what they are reading and consider that they may be able to update or improve the information? Assessing the value of what you are reading, be it a web page, a journal article or even a book is a key skill for any healthcare professional and this assessment must be made in relation to the content medium.

We know that the quality of the Physiopedia content varies.  Any qualified physiotherapist or physical therapist can apply for an editing account and make contributions as an individual or as part of an organised project.  Sometimes contributors make a massive effort to perfectly impart the most recent and up-to-date knowledge in an effort to improve clinical practice globally.  Sometimes people are ticking a box and don’t really consider the impact of what they are writing.  Sometimes people are writing in their second or even third language, we are grateful for their contribution and respectful of their efforts.

Physiopedia is a community created resource, written by physiotherapists for physiotherapists.  Everyone is a volunteer, offering their own time and knowledge to build this resource for our profession.  This naturally leads to differences in the quality of the Physiopedia articles and, as discussed in my last Voices article this is what we are focused on addressing this year. “After 10 years of building content, the majority of the editing activity is now focused on updating and repurposing the information on Physiopedia to continue to improve the usefulness and quality of the content for the development of our profession.”

At Physiopedia we understand that “content is king”, with over 2 million visits to the site every month, this is obvious to us.   We are acutely aware that we now need to focus on the consistency of the quality of this content, and as a team of volunteers, we are doing the best we can. This is what we are up to, we are:

  • receiving and responding to feedback via our contact form on a daily basis.
  • building our volunteer team who make focused efforts every month to improve specific sections of the content.
  • we are encouraging all physiotherapists and physical therapists, where ever they may be in the world, to make a contribution.  Even a simple spelling correction can make a big difference! You can apply for an editing account here (it’s really easy!).
  • expanding our Advisory Board and listening to the recommendations from our Trustees (this article to open up the quality conversation was their idea!).
  • recruiting a content manager to oversee all content on the site as well as section ambassadors.  Would you like to join the team?

Everyone has something to contribute, imagine if every physiotherapist in the world took responsibility for just ONE PAGE in Physiopedia, that would be an unprecedented global community effort to collaboratively advocate for a profession!  Who’s in?