Embedding research culture and productivity in hospital physiotherapy departments: challenges and opportunities

Aust Health Rev. 2015 Jun;39(3):312-314. doi: 10.1071/AH14212.


Few studies have investigated research culture in the Australian hospital system. Although physiotherapists working in tertiary hospital departments conduct and publish research, a conflict between service delivery and research productivity remains. Few departments record research achievements, which limits the accuracy of investigating factors associated with research productivity within allied health. The conduct and translation of research within acute physiotherapy and allied health departments is imperative to improve patient health outcomes, optimise health service efficiency and cost-effectiveness and to improve staff and patient satisfaction and staff retention. Allied health departments should institute a research register and consider implementing other strategies to improve research culture and productivity, such as dedicating equivalent full-time staff to research, supporting staff with joint clinical and academic appointments, ensuring a research register is available and used and having events available for the dissemination of research. Future research should focus on improving research productivity within acute allied health departments to provide Level 1 and 2 evidence of service effectiveness and cost-effectiveness to optimise health care delivery and to maximise the benefit of allied health staff to Australia's healthcare system.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Hospital Departments*
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Physical Therapy Specialty*
  • Research*
  • Tertiary Care Centers