The physical therapy profession recognizes the use of evidence-based practice (EBP) as central to providing high-quality care and decreasing unwarranted variation in practice. EBP includes the integration of best available research, clinical expertise, and patient values and circumstances related to patient and client management, practice management, and health policy decision-making. Although evidence-based practice encompasses more than just applying the best available evidence, many of the concerns and barriers to using EBP revolve around finding and applying research. To help clinical settings address this issue, APTA is collecting existing, and developing new resources that provide practical and innovative information on incorporating research into everyday practice.
Please let us know if you have a strategy you are using in your practice to promote the use of evidence in clinical decision-making. Please contact the Practice department at 703/706-3175, or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this initiative or to share your success, ideas, and challenges.
Components of Evidence-Based Practice
Best Available Evidence
Although evidence-based practice encompasses more than just applying the best available evidence, many of the concerns and barriers to using EBP revolve around finding and applying research. APTA is committed to help physical therapist develop, synthesize and use evidence.
Clinician's Knowledge and Skills
The physical therapist and physical therapist assistant's knowledge and skills are a key part of the evidence based process. This personal scope of practice consists of activities undertaken by an individual physical therapist that are situated within a physical therapist's unique body of knowledge where the individual is educated, trained, and competent to perform that activity. Using clinical decision-making and judgment is key.
Patient's Wants and Needs
The patient's wants and needs are a key part of the evidence based process. As described in guiding principles to achieve the Vision under "Consumer-centricity," patient/client/consumer values and goals will be central to all efforts in which the physical therapy profession will engage. Incorporating a patient's cultural considerations, needs, and values is a necessary skill to provide best practice services. Review Cultural Competence Resources.
Implementing Evidence-Based Practice
Explore courses, recommended readings, and multimedia presentations to help you understand and narrow the gap between the best available evidence and current practice.
Evidence-Based Practice Tools
Includes components of evidence-based practice, clinical practice guidelines, and tools and information to help you narrow the gap between research and practice.
APTA's evidence-based practice portal that provides tools to assist PTs and PTAs in their practice by providing clinically related information of typically treated conditions.
Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry
APTA is developing a national registry for clinical outcomes, providing a much-needed database to improve clinical research and evidence-based care, and to support payment for physical therapist services in the evolving environment of value-based payment.
Research Agenda for Physical Therapy
Development of an Instrument to Measure Patient Satisfaction
Physical Therapy Workforce Data
APTA Section on Research
Researching APTA and Physical Therapy History
Foundation for Physical Therapy