Knowledge translation intervention increased the use of outcome measures by physical therapists in inpatient rehabilitation

Physiother Theory Pract. 2021 Mar 12;1-10. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2021.1898065. Online ahead of print.


Background and Purpose: Outcome measures (OMs) have been emphasized by healthcare professions to optimize patient examination; however, a lack of regular use of OMs exists. The purpose of this study was to describe the outcome of a knowledge translation (KT) intervention to increase the use of OMs by physical therapists in an inpatient rehabilitation setting.Methods: A quasi-experimental pre-post study design was used. A multi-component KT intervention including education, organizational support, documentation, and environmental changes to increase the use of five OMs was implemented. Audit and feedback (A&F) was added to the KT intervention at month 6. Documented use of OMs was determined through manual chart audit (n = 864) and electronically (n = 2599). Regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with OMs use across time and diagnoses.Results: Following the addition of A&F to the KT intervention at month 6, there was a significant increase in the odds of OMs use across all time intervals (months 6-12, 12-18, 18-24)(Odds Ratio (OR) 5.9, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 4.1-8.5; OR 8.5, 95% CI 6.0-12.1; OR 10.8, 95% CI 7.6-15). There was also a significant increase in the odds of documenting OMs on individuals with neurological diagnoses (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.5-0.8).Conclusions: This KT intervention increased and sustained OMs use over 24-months. This intervention can be replicated to improve the evidence-based practices of physical therapists.

Keywords: Knowledge translation; audit and feedback; implementation; outcome measures; physical therapy.