Evidence-based practice resources for physical therapists (PTs) will continue to expand thanks to the work of APTA members who recently participated in an association-sponsored clinical practice guidelines (CPG) workshop. The 3-day event brought together 36 researchers from 10 sections to discuss 11 potential CPGs.
The workshop was led by Sandra Kaplan, PT, PhD, and Joe Godges, PT, DPT, MA, OCS, and included a presentation of a CPG development methodology and discussion on how the methodology can be best applied to the PT profession. The gathering is part of a larger APTA strategic objective to reduce unwarranted variations in care and increase PT adherence to best practices.
Now in its third year, the workshop brings together participants chosen in response to a call to sections to submit nominations for a guideline development group that had identified a clinical topic important to the practice of physical therapy. Topics selected were the ones that could be best addressed through CPGs, which are graded recommendations on best practice for a clinical question based on a systematic review and evaluation of the quality of the scientific literature. These clinical questions were focused on both specific conditions and treatment interventions.
This year's workshop topics included aquatic intervention, falls prevention, management of patients in the ICU, diabetic foot ulcers, examination and intervention of children with developmental coordination disorder, hip fractures, rehabilitation after total knee arthroplasty, interventions to improve gait speed in patients with neurological conditions, postpartum pelvic girdle pain, postconcussion rehabilitation, and venous leg ulcers.
In an APTA video dispatch, Kaplan explained that the workshops help CPG developers lay the groundwork for what can be a 2- to 4-year development process. "What we're doing is trying to provide the foundational understanding of what those [CPG development] processes are," she said. "By the end of this workshop, they walk away with a blueprint for how to move forward to produce one of these."
"What's really exciting about these guidelines is that … for some of them, there are multiple sections coming together," added Godges. He believes PT-focused CPGs can play a "huge" part in helping APTA achieve its vision of transforming society. "I think they're a foundation of transforming patient care, and not only of transforming patient care, but of transforming education," he said, with the effects extending to payment and policy areas worldwide.
CPGs can be found on PTNow, the association's resource for evidence-based practice. Resources for guideline development and APTA funded CPGs can be found at www.apta.org/CPG.
These CPG developers are helping PTs transform societythrough the establishment of best practices in a wide range of areas.
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