Journal of Modern Rehabilitation 2016. 10(4):169-176.

Physiotherapists’ Perception of Evidence-Based Practice
Seyedeh Samira Seyed Habibi, Shohreh Noorizadeh Dehkordi, Mehdi Dadgoo, Laleh Lajevardi


Introduction: Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) and Research Utilization (RU) were introduced to physiotherapy more than two decades ago. Physiotherapists with their professional responsibility to provide the best care, will find practical evidence-based physiotherapy a veritable goldmine of useful information. Recently, evidence-based physiotherapy, as a means to improve the quality of physical therapy intervention, has become an interesting topic for the researchers all over the world. However, few studies have researched EBP in Iranian community of physiotherapists. This study was conducted to investigate the perceptions and experiences of EBP among Iranian physiotherapists and the resources of evidence for a duration of 8 months, from 2015 to 2016.
Material and Methods: In this qualitative study, 15 physiotherapists holding at least a BSc. degree and with two years of relevant work experience, participated. Purposeful sampling method was used to recruit the samples. The data were collected via semi-organized in-depth interviews. Content analysis was used to analyze the data according to Cheevakumjorn’s method.
Results: The collected data were divided into two groups containing the definition of EBP and evidence resources for physiotherapists. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group contained the physiotherapists who became familiar with EBP at university. The contributors who had not passed this course at university were included in the second group. The first group provided more detailed definitions and implemented evidence into their clinical work with greater certainty. The data related to the nature of evidence were put into 4 subgroups; experiences of colleagues, acquired knowledge, therapist’s experience, and obtained knowledge through the patients.
Conclusion: Most physiotherapists participating in this study were somewhat familiar with EBP. Since there are some impediments such as poor clinical training, lack of role models during university education, weak research skills and critical evaluation of research, as well as ignoring the importance of life-long learning, most physiotherapists are not able to fully apply evidence in their clinical practice. A comprehensive program for educating the physiotherapists can be an effective method to improve the physiotherapists’ overall level of knowledge as well as the quality of the health care services they provide.



Evidence based practice, Physical therapy, Qualitative research

Full Text:



Epstein RM. Defining and assessing professional competence. Journal of American Medical Association; 2002; 287(2):226. doi: 10.1001/jama.287.2.226

Killeen MB, Barnfather JS. A successful teaching strategy for applying evidence-based practice. Nurse Educator. 2005; 30(3):127–32. doi: 10.1097/00006223-200505000-00016

Muir Gray JA. Evidence-based healthcare: How to make health policy and management decisions. London: Churchill Livingstone; 1997.

Swisher LL, Hiller P. The revised APTA code of ethics for the physical therapist and standards of ethical conduct for the physical therapist assistant: Theory, purpose, process, and significance. Physical Therapy. 2010; 90(5):803–24. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20090373

Moseley AM, Herbert RD, Sherrington C, Maher CG. Evidence for physiotherapy practice: A survey of the physiotherapy evidence database (PEDro). Australian Journal of Physiotherapy. 2002; 48(1):43–9. doi: 10.1016/s0004-9514(14)60281-6

Sackett DL, Rosenberg WM, Gray JM, Haynes RB, Richardson WS. Evidence based medicine: What it is and what it isn't.Bmj. 1996; 312(7023):71-2. doi: 10.1136/bmj.312.7023.71

Lin SH, Murphy SL, Robinson JC. Facilitating evidence-based practice: Process, strategies, and resources. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2010; 64(1):164–71. doi: 10.5014/ajot.64.1.164

Straus SE, Richardson WS, Glasziou P, Haynes RB. Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach EBM. London: Churchill Livingstone; 2005.

Hojat M, Nasca TJ, Erdmann JB, Frisby AJ, Veloski JJ, Gonnella JS. An operational measure of physician lifelong learning: Its development, components and preliminary psychometric data. Medical Teacher. 2003; 25(4):433–7. doi: 10.1080/01421590306788

Walker AE, Grimshaw J, Johnston M, Pitts N, Steen N, Eccles M. PRIME – Process modelling in implementation research: Selecting a theoretical basis for interventions to change clinical practice. BMC Health Services Research. 2003; 3(1). doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-3-22

Schreiber J, Stern P. A review of the literature on evidence-based practice in physical therapy. Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2005; 3(4):9.

Höök O. Scientific communications: History, electronic journals and impact factors. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. 1999; 31(18):3-7. doi: 10.1080/003655099444669

Laakso M, Welling P, Bukvova H, Nyman L, Björk B-C, Hedlund T. The development of open access journal publishing from 1993 to 2009. PLoS ONE. 2011; 6(6):20961. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020961

Rosenberg W, Donald A. Evidence based medicine: An approach to clinical problem-solving. BMJ. 1995; 310(6987):1122–6. doi: 10.1136/bmj.310.6987.1122

Mota da Silva T, da Cunha Menezes Costa L, Garcia AN, Costa LOP. What do physical therapists think about evidence-based practice? A systematic review. Manual Therapy. 2015; 20(3):388–401. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2014.10.009

Hankemeier DA, Van Lunen BL. Perceptions of approved clinical instructors: Barriers in the implementation of evidence-based practice. Journal of Athletic Training. 2013; 48(3):382–93. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-48.1.18

Upton D, Upton P. Knowledge and use of evidence-based practice by allied health and health science professionals in the United Kingdom. Journal of Allied Health. 2006; 35(3):127-33. PMID: 17036666

Gibson BE, Martin DK. Qualitative research and evidence-based physiotherapy practice. Physiotherapy. 2003; 89(6):350-8. 10.1016/s0031-9406(05)60027-2

Green J, Britten N. Qualitative research and evidence based medicine. British Medical Journal. 1998; 316(7139):1230-32. doi: 10.1136/bmj.316.7139.1230

Green J, Thorogood N. Qualitative methods for health research. London: London School of Hygiene & Topical Medicine; 2004.

Ritchie J, Lewis J, Nicholls CM, Ormston R. Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers. Philadelphia: Sage; 2013.

Adib-Hajbaghery M. The public health nurse in the Iran’s health system: an ignored discipline. International Journal of Community Based Nursing and Midwifery. 2013; 1(1):43-51.

Parvizi S, Adib Hajbaghery M, Salsali M. [Principles and methods in qualitative research (Persian)]. Tehran: Jameenegar Publishing; 2014.

Dysart AM, Tomlin GS. Factors related to evidence-based practice among US occupational therapy clinicians. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2002; 56(3):275-84. doi: 10.5014/ajot.56.3.275

Rycroft-Malone J, Seers K, Titchen A, Harvey G, Kitson A, McCormack B. What counts as evidence in evidence-based practice? Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2004; 47(1):81-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2004.03068.x



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.