Factors affecting the propensity to adopt evidence-based practice in physical therapy
Bridges, Patricia Hulsey
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Many authors, as well as the American Physical Therapy Association, are advocating that physical therapy move to a practice based on research evidence known as "evidence-based practice." This study sought to explain factors that affect the propensity of physical therapists to adopt evidence-based practice. 1,320 physical therapists licensed by the state of Georgia were surveyed on their perception of their propensity to adopt evidence-based practice, personal characteristics, characteristics of the social system in the workplace, and selected demographic variables. A self-completion forced choice survey instrument was used. Three instruments were embedded in the survey instrument: a Psychometric Instrument developed by Green, Gorenflo, and Wyszewianski (2001), the short form of the Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire (Watkins & Marsick, 1998; Yang, Watkins, & Marsick, 2002), and the Self-directed Learning Readiness Scale for Nurse Education (Fisher, King, & Tague, 2001). In addition seven demographic variables were included in the survey. The findings demonstrated that the best three variable model for predicting the propensity to adopt evidence-based practice in physical therapy included: desire for learning, the highest degree held, and practicality. These findings have implications for managers of physical therapy departments, adult educators, and educators of physical therapy students.