Study Reveals Physiotherapists Interested in Evidence-Based Physiotherapy but Lack Training

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The Department of Physiotherapy has produced a regional report based on a questionnaire on evidence-based physiotherapy. The Catalan study reveals that physiotherapists are interested in evidence-based physiotherapy but that they lack the relevant training. In order to respond to this need for training in the field, the UIC has created the Master's Programme in Physiotherapy and Scientific Evidence.

The Department of Physiotherapy in the UIC Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences has produced a regional report in collaboration with the Official Association of Physiotherapists of Catalonia. The basis of the report is a questionnaire about evidence-based physiotherapy. The Catalonia-based study found that physiotherapists are concerned with evidence-based physiotherapy, that they view it as important and that they have a positive attitude towards it. However, they also stated that they do not have the necessary knowledge or resources. All of those surveyed expressed the need for a wider range of courses.

The report was produced by Professor Caridad Bagur from the Department of Physiotherapy and Montserrat Girabent from the Biostatistics and Epidemiology area of the Basic Sciences Department. The report, which had been translated to Spanish and specially adapted to the field of physiotherapy, was based on a questionnaire that had originally been developed in the United States and whose validity had been assessed through a scientific study. This analysis was led by Professor Javier Guerra and formed the subject of his final project for the Master's Programme in Physiotherapy and Scientific Evidence taught at the UIC. The analysis was published in issue 34 (volume 2) of the journal Fisioterapia and followed on from a national and international study involving the same professors, including Professor Guerra.

For years, the UIC has been strongly committed to providing physiotherapy professionals with basic and advanced knowledge in the field of research by promoting the Master's Programme in Physiotherapy and Scientific Evidence (an official master's degree since 2009). The UIC is also working towards increasing the number of subjects related to research in the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Physiotherapy, within the framework of the new European Higher Education Area.

In the same report produced by the UIC, physiotherapists said that they needed to be more competitive within the scientific community in the field of health sciences. Thus, the UIC Department of Physiotherapy is working towards identifying a social role for physiotherapy and physiotherapists by highlighting the need for better scientific communication and more participation from physiotherapists in scientific studies.

For this reason, the Department of Physiotherapy is actively taking part in national and international conferences where physiotherapists are given a voice. It is also getting involved by publishing articles with an international impact and indexed articles, by presenting two international studies that were conducted alongside prestigious organizations, such as the Cochrane Collaboration, and by attending national forums in the field. Lastly, particular mention should be made of the doctoral theses currently being undertaken as part of the Doctoral Programme in Physiotherapy at the UIC. These projects focus specifically on this discipline, which years ago was completely unknown.