Implementation of an Innovative Continuing Education Program Focused on Translation of Knowledge Into Clinical Practice

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Abstract

Background and Purpose.

Physical therapists often struggle with integrating scientific research evidence into clinical practice and prefer attending continuing education conferences rather than reading research articles to inform clinical decision making. Strategies explicitly focused on knowledge translation may enhance the likelihood that information from continuing education will lead to practice change behaviors. The purpose of this case report is to describe the implementation of a continuing education program that emphasized knowledge translation for physical therapists.

Case Description.

The unique aspects of the course included 3 separate sessions, utilizing a workshop format with handson practice opportunities, explicit instruction on facilitating practice behavior change, online follow-up discussion board and resources, and group discussions on case-based application of course content.

Outcomes.

Eight physical therapists participated in the course, and 5 completed a follow-up survey. Data suggested that most participants demonstrated some improvement in knowledge and practicerelated behaviors.

Discussion.

Evidence suggests that physical therapists rely heavily on continuing education to keep up to date in professional practice. Consideration of factors that are likely to enhance the application of knowledge from continuing education into clinical practice should improve the effectiveness of these activities and ideally lead to improved patient outcomes.

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