Title

What is the Believability of Evidence That is Read or Heard By Physical Therapists?

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2022

Abstract

Background

Physical therapists obtain information from a variety of sources. The sources may influence their believability and use in clinical practice.

Objectives

In this hypothesis-based study, we queried physical therapists (PTs) on the believability of evidence across six musculoskeletal treatment domains and analyzed variables that predicted the strength of beliefs.

Methods

This international survey included six different language portals and used a snowball dispensation strategy. PTs who were credentialed, licensed, or who practiced in the field, were queried on the believability of six treatment domains (i.e., exercise, manual therapy, psychologically-informed practice, sports/occupational performance, thermal/electrical agents, and pain science/patient education) and potential predictors of believability (i.e., social media use, years of practice, time and access to literature, specialization, confidence in reviewing literature and attributions of the researcher).

Results

In total, 1098 PTs from 36 countries completed the survey. PTs had strong beliefs in what they read or hear about exercise, sports/occupational performance, pain science/patient education, and psychologically-informed interventions. There was only moderate believability regarding manual therapy treatment and weak believability associated with thermal/electrical agents. Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that the most robust predictor to outcome relationships included time and access to literature and believability of pain science/patient education, years of clinical practice and believability of psychologically informed practice, and believability of thermal/electrical agents.

Conclusion

An important takeaway from this study is that believability was influenced by several factors (primarily by years of practice, attributions of the researcher, and time and access to literature) and appeared to vary across treatment domains.

Comments

Available online 8 July 2022, 100428.

Sean Riley is now affiliated with University of Hartford. He was affiliated with Sacred Heart University when this article was researched and written.

DOI

10.1016/j.bjpt.2022.100428

Publication

Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Issue

100428

Publisher

Elsevier


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