The Importance of Evidence Based Practice in Physiotherapy
– By Katie Gallagher, Physiotherapist at Optimum Health Solutions Sylvania
EBP refers to the way in which practitioners, such as physiotherapists, base their assessments and treatments on currently available research, which provides evidence that they are accurate or effective. The term has been defined as:
“The integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values.”
This means that in order to be an evidence-based practitioner, physiotherapists must consider:
- What assessments and treatments the currently available research supports
- Incorporate their own clinical knowledge, experience, the scope of practice (what they are competently trained in) and judgement
- Keeping in line with their patient’s personal values and beliefs, preferences and abilities.
In the world of physiotherapy we take research very seriously!
We see a good physiotherapist as one who pays attention to what the current research is telling us and use this information to guide our clinical decision making, including how we assess and treat our clients.
There is A LOT of research out there related to physiotherapy and so it is important for physiotherapists to keep up with what is relevant within their area of interest and to implement this into their daily practice. This ensures that you as the client are receiving treatments that are appropriate to you and are scientifically proven to be beneficial, rather than treatments that have no evidence to support their use for your specific condition.
How are Physiotherapists at Optimum Health Solutions keeping up to date?
At Optimum, we pride ourselves in being evidence based practitioners. We are enthusiastic about our career and thrive in the knowledge that we are doing the best we can for our clients. This means that any time we see someone with a condition/symptom we are unfamiliar with or have any questions about, we are sure to begin researching immediately in order to learn as much as we can about the condition itself, as well as what assessments and treatments current research suggests. As physiotherapists we are always learning and continuing our professional development.
As a part of our commitment to evidence based practice and continual professional development, our team also participate in a monthly ‘Journal Club’. This involves each of our physiotherapists choosing a research article that they have found interesting or learned something from, and then sharing our findings and discussing with the team. This is a fun and effective way of ensuring we as your physiotherapist’s are providing you with the best care we can!
Sackett DL, Strauss SE, Richardson WS. Evidence-based medicine: how to practice and teach EBM. London: Churchill-Livingstone; 2000