Physiotherapists' use of evidence based practice: a cross-national study

Physiother Res Int. 1997;2(1):17-29. doi: 10.1002/pri.76.


This study investigated clinical physiotherapists' reasons for their use of treatment techniques, with a particular focus on their utilisation of journal review and research literature. A questionnaire was completed by 180 physiotherapists in England and 141 physiotherapists in Australia. Despite the greater prevalence of pre-registration degree respondents in Australia, there were no differences between the two national groups in their reasons given for choice of treatment techniques. The basis of over 90% of each groups choice of techniques reflected what was taught during their initial training. Experience of treatment effects on prior patients, and information gained in practice-related courses, were also primary reasons. Research literature ranked least in importance as a basis for choosing techniques, and review articles fared little better. The results indicated that these physiotherapists relied mainly on information gained from formal pre- and post-registration courses. By implication, the most obvious means of influencing physiotherapists' attitudes to research utilisation lies with those responsible for physiotherapy education.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Australia
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Educational Status
  • England
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Physical Therapy Modalities* / education