Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Physical Therapy


Background: is an evidence-based, on-line portal created by a professional membership association to promote use of evidence in practice and to help decrease unwarranted variation in practice. The site contains synthesis documents designed to promote efficient clinical reasoning. These documents were written and peer-reviewed by teams of content experts and master clinicians. The purpose of this paper is to report on the content and construct validity as well as usability of the site. Methods: Physical therapist participants used clinical summaries (available in 3 formats--as a full summary with hyperlinks, "quick takes" with hyperlinks, and a portable two-page version) on the site to answer knowledge acquisition and clinical reasoning questions related to four patient scenarios. They also responded to questions about ease of use related to website navigation and about format and completeness of information using a 1-5 Likert scale. Responses were coded to reflect how participants used the site and then were summarized descriptively. Preferences for clinical summary format were analyzed using an analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a Dunnett T3 post hoc analysis. Results: Seventeen participants completed the study. Clinical relevance and completeness ratings by experienced clinicians, which were used as the measure of content validity, ranged from 3.1 to 4.6 on a 5 point scale. Construct validity based on the information on the site was supported for knowledge acquisition questions 66 % of the time and for clinical reasoning questions 40 % of the time. Usability ratings for the full clinical summary were 4.6 (1.2); for the quick takes, 3.5 (.98); and for the portable clinical summary, 4.0 (.45). Participants preferred the full clinical summary over the other two formats (F = 5.908, P = 0.007). One hundred percent of the participants stated that they would recommend the PTNow site to their colleagues. Conclusion: Prelimary evidence supported both content validity and construct validity of knowledge acquisition, and partially supported construct validity of clinical reasoning for the clinical summaries on the site. Usability was supported, with users preferring the full clinical summary over the other two formats. Iterative design is ongoing.


This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.






BMC Medical Informatics And Decision Making







Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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