Journal of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation

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‘Mind the gap’ - Practice of exercise prescription by the physical therapists and the need for bespoke modules to help the future Physio generation

Objectives: To study the practice of exercise prescription by the physical therapists around the world in order identify gaps in the knowledge base so that recommendations can be made on the need for bespoke educational modules aimed at equipping the physiotherapists.

Design: Experimental approach using online questionnaires

Participants: Three hundred and fifteen physiotherapists from various countries.

Method: Experimental approach to the problem was chosen where a short survey was developed which is described in detail (Appendix.1).  The authors developed a predominantly closed- response questionnaire evaluating exercise prescription by physiotherapists working with musculoskeletal patients. The survey included 12 questions among which 4 were designed to test the knowledge on the use of exercise science among the clinicians. Responses to these questions were compared with the actual level of knowledge, as indicated by the total knowledge score.

Results: In total, 315 participants completed the online questionnaire out of which almost 50% respondents were senior staff and worked with musculoskeletal cases for longer than three years. Out of the total responses 118 responses were that from the Middle East, 83 from the Europe, 48 from India, 23 from the USA and Canada and finally 43 of the responses were clustered together as ‘rest of the world’ due to very low participation.

Conclusions: Although a majority of PT’s claim to use exercise prescription for musculoskeletal cases, their knowledge for providing a program designed for optimal gains appears to be limited. We recommend that the healthcare organisations and institutions incorporate focused, bespoke exercise prescription educational training for students and staff for the greater good of the patients. 

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