Understanding Clinical Decision Making: Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Girdle Pain

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Abstract

Background:

Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) represents a common condition with implications for persistence. Currently, a practice gap appears to exist related to the assessment and management of pregnancy-related PGP. This study explores how Canadian publicly funded physiotherapists working in both tertiary care and primary care settings make clinical decisions regarding pregnancy-related PGP.

Methods:

A 4-step process was used to develop a valid survey designed to determine how Canadian physiotherapists make clinical decision regarding pregnancy-related PGP. Physiotherapists from 2 different publicly funded practice settings (tertiary care and primary care) were invited to participate in a telephone or electronic survey.

Results:

The resulting survey contained 28 items in 4 domains. Of the 63 invited, 17 participated (tertiary care: n = 8; primary care: n = 9). Participants' practice patterns were not congruent with current evidence regarding pregnancy-related PGP. However, 100% of participants acknowledged the importance of using clinical practice guidelines to support decision making.

Conclusions:

Pregnancy-related PGP is a specific category of PGP impacting women in the perinatal period and differs in etiology as it is related to pregnancy and associated biopsychosocial influences. Awareness and enactment of best practices regarding pregnancy-related PGP were lacking among our sample. Knowledge translation efforts to support the provision of evidence-informed care are needed.

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