Evidence based physical therapy, or EBPT, is the practice of using relevant clinical research and data to inform our approach to physiotherapy. You may also hear about this approach referred to as “EBP”, which is short for evidence based practice.
Evidence Based Physical Therapy & Patient Care
To successfully apply the use of EBP into a physical therapy practice, the integration of best research evidence and patient values or lifestyle becomes critical. Afterall, the best research evidence will not be all that useful if it will not be supported by the patient or something that they will be able to put into practice for their ongoing lifestyle.
The American Physical Therapy Association notes that the development of physiotherapy practice can be broken down into three main components.
- Applying the best available scientific evidence.
- Using the clinician’s own clinical research and skills.
- Recognizing patient values and needs.
By implementing evidence based physical therapy, practices can focus on making decisions for patient care that are taking into account the best available scientific evidence, along with their own knowledge to provide the best outcome for the patient. This approach should also help practices better understand reasons for lack of compliance on the patient’s part as it is related to their physical therapy care plan. These cases can then be documented and used for future research needs, as well as a means to improve outcomes for patients.
For example, if a patient begins treatment for neck pain, the clinician responsible for treating the patient would review the patient’s medical history, discuss current pain, and then use prior skills and knowledge, along with any available research evidence related to the patient’s condition in order to come up with a treatment plan.
The treatment plan should in theory, result in a more efficient and reliable outcome for the patient. If through practice, it becomes clear that the treatment is not proven effective, then the clinician would need to examine whether or not the available research makes sense for the patient as an individual. There are always variables in any data or scientific research, which is why it is so important for physical therapists to take into account the human factor and patient values when creating a treatment plan.
Whether you are experiencing lower back pain, knee pain, or another condition or ailment, the doctors of physical therapy at Total Motion Physical Therapy will approach your case with knowledge, thorough research, and above all, the utmost care and concern for you as a person. We develop personalized treatment plans that get you on the road to recovery faster.