The Evidence-based Practice Beliefs and Knowledge of Physical Therapy Clinical Instructors. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice

D Bierwas, J Leafman, D Shaw
2016 unpublished
For evidence-based practice to occur in patient management or clinical instruction, a knowledge of evidence-based practice principles is needed, including how to retrieve, appraise, and apply evidence. Attitudes and beliefs are also important, since for effective change in practice to occur it must be consistent with beliefs and needs. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the evidence-based practice beliefs and knowledge of physical therapist clinical instructors and to determine
more » ... and to determine whether differences in self-reported beliefs or knowledge existed based upon respondent characteristics of highest degree, age, association membership, and certification. Methods: For this cross-sectional descriptive study an electronic survey was used to collect data on respondent characteristics and evidence-based practice beliefs and knowledge. Results: Respondents were 376 physical therapists who were clinical instructors. A majority of respondents reported positive beliefs about evidence-based practice: welcome questions on practice (88.5 %, n = 333); fundamental to practice (89.7%, n = 337); practice changed because of evidence (81.1%, n = 305). From rating options of poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent, respondents most often selected good to describe knowledge level: formulate question 39.6% (n = 149); retrieve evidence 39.4% (n = 148); appraise evidence 44.1% (n = 166); and apply evidence 40.4% (n = 152). Nearly half of the respondents reported as either very good or excellent the ability to apply evidence (49.4%, n = 186). There were differences in evidence-based practice beliefs (degree H = 10.152, p = .038; membership z = 4.721, p = H = 27.712, p = z = 2.188, p = .03; certification z = 4.194, p = Conclusion: Respondents frequently reported positive beliefs about evidencebased practice and the possession of evidence-based practice knowledge. However, there were respondents who reported negative beliefs such as disagreeing that new evidence is important. There were wide variations in reported evidence-based practice knowledge. The largest percentage of respondents rated knowledge as good, the middle or 'average' rating on the five-point scale. There were differences in evidence-based practice beliefs and knowledge between groups for highest degree, association membership, and specialty certification. ABSTRACT For evidence-based practice to occur in patient management or clinical instruction, a knowledge of evidence-based practice principles is needed, including how to retrieve, appraise, and apply evidence. Attitudes and beliefs are also important, because for effective change in practice to occur, it must be consistent with beliefs and needs. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the evidence-based practice beliefs and knowledge of physical therapist clinical instructors and to determine whether differences in self-reported beliefs or knowledge existed based upon respondent characteristics of highest degree, age, association membership, and certification. Methods: For this cross-sectional descriptive study, an electronic survey was used to collect data on respondent characteristics and evidence-based practice beliefs and knowledge. Results: Respondents were 376 physical therapists who were clinical instructors. A majority of respondents reported positive beliefs about evidence-based practice: welcome questions on practice (88.5 %, n = 333); fundamental to practice (89.7%, n = 337); practice changed because of evidence (81.1%, n = 305). From rating options of poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent, respondents most often selected good to describe knowledge level: formulate question 39.6% (n = 149); retrieve evidence 39.4% (n = 148); appraise evidence 44.1% (n = 166); and apply evidence 40.4% (n = 152). Nearly half of the respondents reported as either very good or excellent the ability to apply evidence (49.4%, n = 186). There were differences in evidence-based practice beliefs (degree H = 10.152, p = .038; membership z = 4.721, p = <.01) and knowledge (degree H = 27.712, p = <.01; membership z = 2.188, p = .03; certification z = 4.194, p = <.01) based upon highest degree, association membership, and specialist certification. Conclusion: Respondents frequently reported positive beliefs about evidence-based practice and the possession of evidence-based practice knowledge. However, there were respondents who reported negative beliefs such as disagreeing that new evidence is important. There were wide variations in reported evidence-based practice knowledge. The largest percentage of respondents rated knowledge as good, the middle or "average" rating on the five-point scale. There were differences in evidence-based practice beliefs and knowledge between groups for highest degree, association membership, and specialty certification. The Evidence-Based Practice Beliefs and Knowledge of Physical Therapy Clinical Instructors 2 Evidence-based Practice Beliefs of Physical Therapists The evidence-based practice attitudes and beliefs of physical therapists in the United States have been addressed in the past. Jette et al, from a survey of 1,000 physical therapists who were American Physical Therapy Association members, reported that respondents agreed evidence-based practice is needed and improves quality of care. 3 From surveys of 24 physical therapists given prior to and after a presentation on select intervention topics, Fruth et al reported that physical therapists agreed evidencebased practice is a fundamental part of physical therapy practice, but this belief was not associated with American Physical Therapy Association membership, age, degree, experience, or practice setting. 4 Schreiber et al surveyed 21 physical therapists before and six months after an evidence-based practice workshop and reported positive evidence-based attitudes. 5 However, the authors noted that in spite of positive attitudes, participants reported continued reliance on traditional sources of information such as experience and advice from colleagues rather than scientific evidence.
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