What do physical therapists think about evidence-based practice?

Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) has been widely employed in various health-related areas. Several studies examined important characteristics in EBP by physiotherapists and systematic review is needed. Therefore the goal of this study is to describe the current evidence on EBP knowledge, skills, behaviour, opinions and barriers by physiotherapists. Searches were conducted on MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PSYCINFO, LILACS, and SciELO in September 2014. Quantitative cross-sectional studies that investigated EBP knowledge, skills, behaviour, opinions, and barriers in physiotherapy were retrieved. Risk of bias was assessed using a scale to evaluate representativeness of the sample, response rate, the accuracy of the data, evidence of power calculation and the instrument used. The search yielded 12,392 potentially eligible studies. Of these, 12 studies were included in the review (pooled sample=6411 participants). In 3 studies that analysed knowledge, approximately 21–82% of respondents claimed to have received prior information on EBP. In 2 studies that reported skills and behaviour, almost half of the sample had used databases to support clinical decision-making. In 6 studies that investigated opinions, the majority of the samples considered EBP necessary or important. The barriers most often reported were: lack of time, inability to understand statistics, lack of support from employer, lack of resources, lack of interest and lack of generalisation of results.

While the majority of physiotherapists have a positive opinion about EBP, they consider that they need to improve their knowledge, skills and behaviour towards EBP. They also faced barriers that might hinder the implementation of EBP.

Neck Pain

Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability and 21st in terms of overall burden.

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