A Knowledge Broker Facilitated Intervention To Improve The Use of Standardized Assessment Tools By Physical Therapists: A Cluster Randomized Trial

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Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Objective: To compare two methods of knowledge broker support to improve standardized assessment use. Design: Two-site cluster randomized trial. Setting: Acute rehabilitation hospital. Participants: 18 physical therapists. Intervention: A 10-month intervention was collaboratively designed with an external knowledge broker and physical therapists to compare full and partial implementation support. The knowledge broker provided education and strategies for implementation to the fully supported group and recommended strategies to the partially supported group that they self-implemented. Measurement: Chart audit data documenting frequency of use was extracted at four timepoints. Ten focus groups were conducted to describe factors that influenced use. Focus group data were coded using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research and rated as barriers and facilitators for standardized assessment use. Results: For the fully supported group, standardized assessment use at initial examination increased from 0% to 58.3% at month 2 and decreased to 17.6% and 11.8% at months 4 and 8-10. For the partially supported group, standardized assessment use increased from 0% to 46% and 50% at month 2 and 4 and decreased to 2.8% at months 8-10. For both groups, early use was seen multiple facilitators. At month 10, barriers included organizational changes that impacted intervention fit. In addition, the fully supported group didn't value the selected standardized assessment and the partially supported group lacked space. Conclusions: Knowledge broker support improved both groups standardized assessment use early on, but it was not sustained. The amount of support could not be isolated as factors that influenced use varied by groups.


Online ahead of print 25 October 2021.






Clinical Rehabilitation


Sage Publishing