The influence of a topic-specific, research-based presentation on physical therapists' beliefs and practices regarding evidence-based practice

Physiother Theory Pract. 2010 Nov;26(8):537-57. doi: 10.3109/09593980903585034. Epub 2010 Jul 22.


Background/purpose: Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an important objective as physical therapists strive for autonomous practice. The most commonly identified barrier to EBP is clinicians' lack of time. Purposes of this study were to determine (1) clinicians' opinions of EBP; (2) whether EBP presentations would influence clinicians' beliefs and practices; and (3) if additional barriers would be identified.

Methods: Twenty-four physical therapists, representing four clinical settings, participated. Each facility selected one presentation topic. Presenations were prepared, then given at each facility. Data were collected from three surveys.

Results: The majority of participants agreed that EBP is an essential component of practice. Most reported a willingness to change their practice to be more aligned with research. The top three barriers identified were lack of time, access to publications, and research in specific areas. Most reported gaining new information and integration of the material.

Conclusions: EBP is considered essential by most clinicians, but lack of time is consistently identified as a primary barrier. Clinicians found it helpful to have EB information presented to them. Many would welcome additional presentations. Clinicians may increase their use of EBP if the barrier "lack of time" is lessened by locating, synthesizing, and presenting this information to them.

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Culture*
  • Education, Continuing*
  • Evidence-Based Practice*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Specialty / education*
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Professional Competence
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult