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Dissemination of effective physiotherapy treatments - analysing the relevance and usefulness of a large database of evidence summaries

Date and Location




Monday 23 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Stijn Van de Velde

Contact person

Stijn Van de Velde
Carl Jans
Abstract text
Background: Matching care to strong evidence is essential for high-quality physiotherapy. However, many barriers hamper the implementation of evidence based physiotherapy. To promote evidence-based decision-making a Belgian national electronic point-of-care information service was initiated in September 2011. This database is free for Belgian healthcare providers and includes the comprehensive Duodecim database with clinical guidelines and concise evidence summaries of systematic reviews - often Cochrane reviews. While this database is developed for general practitioners, information about physiotherapy interventions is included to inform physician referral decisions. Therefore physiotherapists might also benefit from these summaries when deciding on treatments and their parameters. Objectives: To determine the relevance and usefulness of the available evidence summaries for physiotherapists dealing with musculoskeletal pathology. Methods: Evidence summaries related to musculoskeletal physiotherapy were selected by systematic screening of the summaries against the predetermined criteria. Relevant evidence summaries were evaluated for usefulness using 4 parameters: therapy modality, intensity, duration and frequency. Provided that a summary was not useful, the accompanying systematic reviews were further screened for details on these parameters. Results: Out of a total of 4128, 278 evidence summaries were relevant to musculoskeletal pathology and 106 were relevant to physiotherapy. Six evidence summaries contained sufficient information to be useful for physiotherapists. Usefulness of systematic reviews is still being analyzed. These results are expected by the end of May 2013. Conclusions: While the evidence summaries contain relevant information for musculoskeletal physiotherapy, essential therapy-parameters for physiotherapists are missing in most evidence-summaries. However, the first results of the evaluation of the full systematic reviews show that additional parameters from these reviews might be used to increase their usefulness towards physiotherapists.