Which learning activities enhance physiotherapy practice? A systematic review protocol of quantitative and qualitative studies

Edmund Leahy, Lucy Chipchase, Felicity Blackstock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Learning activities are fundamental for the development of expertise in physiotherapy practice. Continuing professional development (CPD) encompasses formal and informal learning activities undertaken by physiotherapists. Identifying the most efficient and effective learning activities is essential to enable the profession to assimilate research findings and improve clinical skills to ensure the most efficacious care for clients. To date, systematic reviews on the effectiveness of CPD provide limited guidance on the most efficacious models of professional development for physiotherapists. The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate which learning activities enhance physiotherapy practice. Methods: A search of Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), PsycINFO (Psychological Abstracts), PEDro, Cochrane Library, AMED and Educational Resources and Information Center (ERIC) will be completed. Citation searching and reference list searching will be undertaken to locate additional studies. Quantitative and qualitative studies will be included if they examine the impact of learning activities on clinician's behaviour, attitude, knowledge, beliefs, skills, self-efficacy, work satisfaction and patient outcomes. Risk of bias will be assessed by two independent researchers. Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) and Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research (CERQual) will be used to synthesise results where a meta-analysis is possible. Where a meta-analysis is not possible, a narrative synthesis will be conducted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number83
Number of pages7
JournalSystematic Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver(http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


  • Education
  • Expertise
  • Knowledge translation
  • Physiotherapy
  • Professional development
  • Protocol
  • Systematic review


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