Evidence-based practice in Physiotherapy curricula: A survey of Indian Health Science Universities
Introduction: Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the conscientious,
explicit and judicious use of the current evidence in clinical
decision making. The physiotherapy profession has expressed a
commitment to the development and use of evidence. However,
very little is known about the extent to which EBP is integrated in
physiotherapy curricula in India. The purpose of this study was
to describe integration of EBP in Indian physiotherapy programs.
Methods: An observational study was conducted where a review
of curricula of all Health Science Universities (HSU) in India,
offering an undergraduate (UG) and post-graduate (PG) degree
program in physical therapy was conducted using a data abstraction
sheet. It gathered data on inclusion of research components of
EBP in the curricula, content and hours of teaching EBP, and
assessment methods. Data were analyzed descriptively.
Results: Curricula of fifteen HSU offering physiotherapy programs
were reviewed. Contents relevant to EBP were incorporated
from the 2nd yr to final year. Common courses included research
methodology (84.61%), research project (69.23%) and clinical
management subjects (57.14%). No guidelines were given about
adopting EBP in clinical practice. Didactic lectures were the mode
of teaching (81.81%). Preferred method for assessing research
projects was viva (44.44%). Critical appraisal was least included
in the entry level education. Contents relevant to all the five steps
of EBP were included in PG curricula.
Conclusions: Though physiotherapy programs are introducing EBP
teaching at the entry level, it lacks structured systematic approach
and is fragmented. There is inadequate emphasis on clinical
oriented teaching of EBP and assessment methods. Moreover, there
is adequate coverage of EBP content in PG curricula.
Keywords: Evidence based practice; Physiotherapy; Curriculum
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