A national study of the availability and use of electrophysical agents by Australian physiotherapists

L. S. Chipchase, M. T. Williams, V. J. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Electrophysical agents EPAs are a core part of physiotherapy practice and entry level education. With the increase in the number of EPAs over time, their availability and use in contemporary physiotherapy practice is an important consideration when determining entry level curricula. Thus, the aim of the study was to ascertain the current availability and usage of EPAs in Australian physiotherapy practice. A purpose-designed questionnaire was mailed to all registered physiotherapists in Australia. A response rate of 27% was obtained n = 3,538. Nonresponder analyses indicated that the results were representative of the total population of Australian physiotherapists. Over 70% of respondents had access to ultrasound, cold packs/ice, heat packs, electrical stimulation for sensory stimulation, and interferential therapy. Two main groups of EPAs were used relatively frequently. The first group was used daily or monthly by 60% of respondents ultrasound, hot packs, and cold packs/ice, and a second group electromyographic and pressure biofeedback, interferential therapy, and electrical stimulation for sensory stimulation was used on a daily or monthly basis by between 30% and 45% of the sample. A group of EPAs, including ultraviolet light, microwave, and shortwave diathermy, was not used by over 90% of the sample. The study has provided contemporary national data on EPA availability and use in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-296
Number of pages18
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

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