A pilot study of an evidence-based practice training program for Filipino physiotherapists: emerging evidence on outcomes and acceptability

Tags: Oral
Dizon J1, Grimmer-Somers K2, Kumar S2
1International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, University of South Australia, Australia; and University of Santo Tomas, Philippines, 2International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, University of South Australia, Australia

Background: Evidence-based practice (EBP) has been challenging for health professionals across the globe. Issues of implementing the evidence become even more challenging among health professionals in developing countries, due to cultural and contextual issues which compound the existing barriers reported in the literature. An EBP training (EBP for FilPTs) was developed for physiotherapists in a developing country (Philippines) based on the literature and local context exploratory studies.

Objectives: This study reports the findings of pilot testing the EBP for FilPTs (Table 1). The study objectives are to: (1) Estimate the effect of the EBP training program in enhancing knowledge and skills in EBP; (2) Determine the sample size for a subsequent RCT; and (3) Test the acceptability of the EBP training program.

Methods: Physiotherapists were randomly allocated to the intervention (EBP for FilPTs) and the waitlist control groups. An EBP Checklist (Table 2) specifically developed for the use of Filipino physiotherapists to apply the findings, was introduced to the intervention group. Pre-post intervention measures of knowledge and skills in EBP were assessed using the Adapted Fresno test. Participants and observers completed an evaluation summary and commented on the program’s objectives and strategies, and its acceptability in the context of practice.

Results: The EBP for FilPTs resulted in significant and large improvement (Effect Size=0.8) in knowledge and skills. A sample of at least 54 physiotherapists is required for the randomised controlled trial (RCT). Minor changes were required based on the evaluation. Overall, the EBP for FilPTs is a useful and acceptable training for physiotherapists in the Philippines.

Conclusions: The EBP for FilPTs is considered to be an effective and acceptable medium to teach EBP to physiotherapists in the Philippines. Currently, the RCT is being conducted to assess the effectiveness of the EBP for FilPTs in improving knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour in EBP.