Developing spinal cord injury physiotherapy clinical practice guidelines: a qualitative study to determine how physiotherapists and people living with spinal cord injury use evidence

Joanne L. Nunnerley*, Joanne V. Glinsky, Jennifer A. Dunn, Verna A. Stavric, Amanda Haber, Sophie Denis, Marsha Ben, Lydia W. Chen, Lisa A. Harvey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Study design: Generic qualitative design. Objectives: Australian and New Zealand SCI physiotherapists are developing clinical practice guidelines for the physiotherapy management of people living with spinal cord injury. To guide the development of the guidelines it was important to understand how physiotherapists and people living with spinal cord injury use evidence to choose interventions and the potential barriers and facilitators to the uptake of the clinical practice guidelines. Setting: Spinal Cord Injury Centres in Sydney, Australia and New Zealand. Methods: Focus groups and interviews with physiotherapists and people living with spinal cord injury were recorded, transcribed, and subjected to thematic analysis. Results: A total of 75 participants took part in the study, 45 physiotherapists and 30 people living with spinal cord injury. Three main themes were identified from the data: (1) Types and sources of evidence that influence treatment choices, (2) the many factors determining treatment choices, and (3) ways in which clinical practice guidelines could influence treatment. Conclusions: Clinical practice guidelines have the potential to reduce the barriers identified by physiotherapists in accessing and interpreting research evidence on interventions for people living with spinal cord injury. Supported implementation of guidelines is required to demonstrate their benefit and encourage physiotherapists to factor in evidence when balancing the multiple factors influencing choice of physiotherapy intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-168
Number of pages9
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume61
Issue number2
Early online date13 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

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