A Critical Quest: Confirming Physical Therapists' Attitudes and Knowledge Toward Evidence-Based Practice
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The overall purpose of this study was to investigate physical therapists attitudes and knowledge toward research and evidence-based practice (EBP).The research design was based on a realist theoretical framework. Twenty-five interviews were conducted asking standardized open-end questions which allowed the participants to relate their real world experience to EBP.
Two of the questions guiding the study included; “Tell me how you feel, in general, about evidence based practice in Physical Therapy” and “Tell me how, when, and where you learned about research/data collection and evidence based practice.”
Results indicated a high level of support and commitment to research and EBP. Participants agreed that the profession of physical therapy will benefit from increased participation in research, and an increased use of EBP. Most participants felt knowledgeable about research and data collection in general, but they also indicated weaknesses in conducting research, and critically evaluating the research articles. The participants also agreed that practicing based on evidence was important for the physical therapy profession, but identified a need for more research supporting physical therapy.
Barriers to research and practice based on evidence were identified by all participants. Four main barriers were identified; time, patients, administrative, and external influences.
This study revealed a strong commitment by the participants to research and EBP, but the identified barriers prevented most participants from participating in research and practicing based on evidence at the level they said they felt was necessary.