Evidence-based practice profiles of physiotherapists transitioning into the workforce: a study of two cohorts

Maureen McEvoy, Marie Williams, Tim Olds, Lucy Lewis, John Petkov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: Training in the five steps of evidence-based practice (EBP) has been recommended for inclusion in entry-level health professional training. The effectiveness of EBP education has been explored predominantly in the medical and nursing professions and more commonly in post-graduate than entry-level students. Few studies have investigated longitudinal changes in EBP attitudes and behaviours. This study aimed to assess the changes in EBP knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in entry-level physiotherapy students transitioning into the workforce. Methods. A prospective, observational, longitudinal design was used, with two cohorts. From 2008, 29 participants were tested in their final year in a physiotherapy program, and after the first and second workforce years. From 2009, 76 participants were tested in their final entry-level and first workforce years. Participants completed an Evidence-Based Practice Profile questionnaire (EBP 2), which includes self-report EBP domains [Relevance, Terminology (knowledge of EBP concepts), Confidence, Practice (EBP implementation), Sympathy (disposition towards EBP)]. Mixed model analysis with sequential Bonferroni adjustment was used to analyse the matched data. Effect sizes (ES) (95% CI) were calculated for all changes. Results: Effect sizes of the changes in EBP domains were small (ES range 0.02 to 0.42). While most changes were not significant there was a consistent pattern of decline in scores for Relevance in the first workforce year (ES -0.42 to -0.29) followed by an improvement in the second year (ES +0.27). Scores in Terminology improved (ES +0.19 to +0.26) in each of the first two workforce years, while Practice scores declined (ES -0.23 to -0.19) in the first year and improved minimally in the second year (ES +0.04). Confidence scores improved during the second workforce year (ES +0.27). Scores for Sympathy showed little change. Conclusions: During the first two years in the workforce, there was a transitory decline in the self-reported practice and sense of relevance of EBP, despite increases in confidence and knowledge. The pattern of progression of EBP skills beyond these early professional working years is unknown.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number100
    Number of pages9
    JournalBMC Medical Education
    Volume11
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence-based practice profiles of physiotherapists transitioning into the workforce: a study of two cohorts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this