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A Qualitative Study of Individual and Organizational Learning through Physiotherapists’ Participation in a Research Project
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Physiotherapy. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6075-4432
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Clinical Medicine, ISSN 2158-284X, E-ISSN 2158-2882, Vol. 5, no 9, 514-524 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The need for evidence-based practice has been recognized by physiotherapy organizations over the past decades. Earlier studies have documented facilitators and barriers that affect the use and implementation of evidence-based practice. Less is known about what kind of interventions might be useful to implement evidence-based practice. This study explores what physiotherapists learn through participation in a research project relevant to their professional development towards achieving a more evidence-based physiotherapy practice. To what extent this learning was transferred to colleagues for organizational learning is also examined. This study was set in Sweden, where health care is publicly funded. Patients do not need a referral from a physician to consult a physiotherapist. Eleven interviews were conducted with physiotherapists who had participated in a randomized, controlled, multicenter, physiotherapy intervention investigating neck-specific exercise for patients with whiplash disorder. Gadamer’s hermeneutics was used to analyze the data. The physiotherapists described a range of learning experiences from their project participation, including instrumental learning (the concrete application of knowledge to achieve changes in practice) and conceptual learning (changes in knowledge, understanding or attitudes). The research project enabled the physiotherapists to develop new treatment techniques for broader application and extend their competence in techniques already known (instrumental learning). The physiotherapists believed that project participation enhanced their overall competence as physiotherapists, increased their job motivation and strengthened their self-confidence and self-efficacy (conceptual learning). Physiotherapists’ participation in the research project yielded many individual learning experiences, fostered positive attitudes to research and was conducive to achieving a more research-informed physiotherapy practice. Participation was associated with a deeper understanding of the challenges involved in conducting research. The transfer from indi-

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 5, no 9, 514-524 p.
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-119152DOI: 10.4236/ijcm.2014.59071OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-119152DiVA: diva2:819435
Available from: 2015-06-10 Created: 2015-06-10 Last updated: 2015-10-23
In thesis
1. Evidence-Based Practice in Practice: Exploring Conditions for Using Research in Physiotherapy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evidence-Based Practice in Practice: Exploring Conditions for Using Research in Physiotherapy
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research developments have led to increased opportunities for the use of improved diagnostic and treatment methods in physiotherapy and other areas of health care. The emergence of the evidence-based practice (EBP) movement has led to higher expectations for a more research-informed health care practice that integrates the best available research evidence with clinical experience and patient priorities and values. Physiotherapy research has grown exponentially, contributing to an increased interest in achieving a more evidence-based physiotherapy practice. However, implementation research has identified many individual and contextual barriers to research use. Strategies to achieve a more EBP tend to narrowly target individual practitioners to influence their knowledge, skills and attitudes concerning research use. However, there is an emerging recognition that contextual conditions such as leadership and culture are critical to successfully implementing EBP.

Against this background, the overall aim of this thesis was to explore conditions at different levels, from the individual level to the organizational level and beyond, for the use of research and implementation of an evidence-based physiotherapy practice. The thesis consists of four interrelated papers that address various aspects of the aim. Individual and focus group interviews were conducted with physiotherapists and managers within physiotherapy in various county councils in Sweden between 2011 and 2014. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis, direct content analysis and hermeneutics.

It was found that many different types of motivation underlie physiotherapists’ use of research in their clinical practice, from amotivation (i.e. a lack of intention to engage in research use) to intrinsic motivation (research use is perceived as interesting and satisfying in itself). Most physiotherapists tend to view research use in favourable terms. Physiotherapists’ participation in a research project can yield many individual learning experiences that might contribute to a more research-informed physiotherapy practice. However, organizational learning was more limited. Numerous conditions at different levels (individual, workplace and extra-organizational levels) provide support for physiotherapists’ use of research in their clinical practice. However, physiotherapy leaders appear to contribute to a modest degree to establishing a culture that is conducive to implementing EBP in physiotherapy practice. Instead, EBP issues largely seem to depend on committed individual physiotherapists who keep to up to date with research in physiotherapy and inform colleagues about the latest research findings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 78 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1471
National Category
Physiotherapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122172 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-122172 (DOI)978-91-7519-019-8 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-11-06, Belladonna, Hus 511-001, Campus US, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-10-23 Created: 2015-10-23 Last updated: 2015-10-23Bibliographically approved

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Dannapfel, PetraPeolsson, AnneliNilsen, Per
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