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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 106-107

Evidence-based learning and practice in physical therapy: A need for novice physical therapists

Department of Physical Therapy, CAMS, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah, Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication19-Jan-2015

Correspondence Address:
Mahamed Ateef
Department of Physical Therapy, CAMS, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1319-6308.146351

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How to cite this article:
Ateef M. Evidence-based learning and practice in physical therapy: A need for novice physical therapists. Saudi J Sports Med 2015;15:106-7

How to cite this URL:
Ateef M. Evidence-based learning and practice in physical therapy: A need for novice physical therapists. Saudi J Sports Med [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Jan 22];15:106-7. Available from: http://www.sjosm.org/text.asp?2015/15/1/106/146351


There is a growing acquisition of evidence-based physical therapy among therapy students and therapists globally, which should also be taught from student life and be made mandatory in curricula. Implementation of evidence-based practice (EBP) has proved to be difficult during practice sessions as it would be difficult during clinical decision-making with a busy schedule with patients in a short period. Today research journals are mushrooming worldwide, and millions of articles and their replications are diluting the scientific rigor thereby creating a status of confusion among students and practitioners to choose for qualitative articles for clinical implications based on "effect size." Students and therapists must be aware of randomized control trials and systematic reviews, which are the pillars of evidenced practice and taught as well-exercised from student stage that prepares them novice physical therapists for the benefit of the human mankind. There is a need of purposeful orientation of evidenced physical therapy (PT) learning and practice among students and practitioner's community through an innovative model approach.

Student community hardly finds time to refer evidenced material in their student life. As they keep themselves busy attending regular lecture classes, finding syllabi material relevant to their academic subjects and attending clinical classes. Finding extra literature such as evidenced literature may be beyond their time limit and interest. In such a scenario students do skip evidenced data interpretation year on year and at the end of the programme they shall be either unaware or partially aware of EBP orientation.

In order to accumulate orientation and knowledge about EBP, a scientifically designed constructive, reliable, validated model approach is mandatory from student stage itself.

As per the learning approach, the dean is the prime person to initiate EBP by giving ordinance to subscribe for databases. Next the head of the department (HOD) who would be a curricula concern person for adapting relevant databases. After which Associate and Assistant professors should implement the concept of EBP to graduates, postgraduates and research scholars. In short the learning approach indicates that the inheritance of EBP should start from dean and end with students, means organizational support for research activities are indicated to develop EBP. [1]

One national survey conducted by Gorgon et al. whose findings concluded that there is a need for full, clear articulation and longstanding protocol of EBP in learning objectives required in PT educational curricula. [2]

Practice approach is as same as learning one, but learning converts into practice. At the corporate hospital or rehabilitation setup the HOD/manager should play a major role to order, initiate and implement the art of EBP to all his supporting staff. At the practice, a speciality therapist may treat the patient directly based on EBP outcomes or may suggest the physical therapist to follow his guidelines according to his EBP based prescription. A graduate therapist has to supervise his assistants to implement/deliver EBP to their patients. At the end again the HOD must evaluate by comparing the patient outcomes relevant to EBP, dedicated time and organizational support for the smooth flow of the EBP activities are required. [1]

Transformation of research knowledge through EBP approach should be developed by the novice researchers in this field.

Posters, platform presentations, group discussions, classroom lectures (including peer lectures from different institutions), digital library usage must be among methods to create awareness about EBP by all the faculty members.

Psychometrically designed questionnaires based on EBP and student-centered learning [3] etc., should be used to evaluate the subjective learning as well practice outcomes to establish the effectiveness of the research based outcomes.

There is model educational programs, which have been developed to improve academic standards. There is a need of survey research to be done on EBP educational, innovative model formulations in physiotherapy educational institutions in developing countries. One study showed that effective educational strategy is a useful tool to implement EBP. [4]

A study concluded that undergraduates could struggle pursuing EBP literature during their study period. [5] Another study supported learning model that clinical instructors are acting as role models to teach EBP into practice to the students. [4] Faculties who supervise students and their clinical practice must be adequately updated in applying EBP and teaching EBP to allow them to potentiate their EBP abilities. [2] In a study concluded by Bridges et al. stated that the department managers need to derive benefits and develop strategies to foster the adoption of EBP [6] and transformation of knowledge and updating skills within the workplace. Rotor and Gorgon have also adapted different education models to teach EBP and to implement in practice. [7]

Individualized clinical decision-making is a complex process that involves careful consideration of multiple contextual factors and therefore requires multifaceted teaching-learning methods to develop skills in students later on who become practitioners.

Evidence-based practice learning along with curricula and implementation of EBP into practice would yield good health care of the patient. Collaboration between faculties and hospital staff would bring pronounced shape of the implementation of EBP. Innovative models based on EBP approach to be studied in future using validated and reliable self-efficacy and EBP specific questionnaires for better outcomes to improve academic standards based on learning outcomes and quality assurance to produce novice physical therapists.

  Acknowledgment Top

Special thanks to my Dean.

  References Top

Grimmer-Somers K, Lekkas P, Nyland L, Young A, Kumar S. Perspectives on research evidence and clinical practice: A survey of Australian physiotherapists. Physiother Res Int 2007;12:147-61.  Back to cited text no. 1
Gorgon EJ, Basco MD, Manuel AT. Teaching evidence based practice in physical therapy in a developing country: A national survey of Philippine schools. BMC Med Educ 2013 22;13:154.  Back to cited text no. 2
Shah C, Parmar D, Mehta H. Perceptions of faculty about student-centered Curriculum. Arch Med Health Sci 2014; 4:25-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
Agarwal R, Kalita J, Misra UK. Barriers to evidence-based medicine practice in South Asia and possible solutions. Neurol Asia 2008;13:87-94.  Back to cited text no. 4
Olsen NR, Bradley P, Lomborg K, Nortvedt MW. Evidence based practice in clinical physiotherapy education: A qualitative interpretive description. BMC Med Educ 2013;13:52.  Back to cited text no. 5
Bridges PH, Bierema LL, Valentine T. The propensity to adopt evidence-based practice among physical therapists. BMC Health Serv Res 2007;7:103.  Back to cited text no. 6
Rotor ER, Gorgon JR. Teaching evidence-based practice: preliminary outcomes of students' EBP-related attitudes and skills. Philipp J Occup Ther 2011;4:15-24.  Back to cited text no. 7

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