Title

Physiotherapists' perceptions and use of medical imaging information in practice.

Department

Physical Therapy

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Physiotherapists must take responsibility for all aspects of patient care. Information from medical imaging studies can influence clinical decisions. The purpose of the present study was to gather information about physiotherapists' perceptions and use of medical imaging information in clinical practice. METHOD: A survey questionnaire was developed, validated and pilot tested. Subjects were randomly selected from a pool of licensed physiotherapists practising in four California Physical Therapy Association Districts. The survey was sent to 500 physiotherapists. Data gathered from the survey were transcribed to spreadsheets for analysis. RESULTS: One hundred and twenty participants completed and returned the survey. Information from radiographs was most frequently available, followed by MRI and CT scan information, respectively. Respondents reported more use of information from reports than from images. Respondents also indicated that it was important to be able to review medical imaging information (70%), that they use medical imaging information in their practice when it is available (83.4%), that physiotherapists have the necessary knowledge and skills to use this type of information (77.3%), and that medical imaging should be covered in entry-level educational programmes (84.2%). Respondents additionally indicated that medical imaging information could be used to understand a patient's disease process (85%), improve communication about patient care (90%), improve diagnosis, prognosis and interventions for patients (81.6%), and identify contraindications to examination and interventions (87.5%). CONCLUSIONS: Physiotherapists have access to some medical imaging information and perceive that this information could be valuable in patient care; however, not all therapists are confident in their ability to interpret this information. Curricula in entry-level physiotherapist educational programmes should include information about medical imaging.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2006

Publication Title

Physiotherapy research international : the journal for researchers and clinicians in physical therapy

ISSN

1358-2267

Volume

11

Issue

1

DOI

10.1002/pri.37

First Page

14

Last Page

23

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