The Big Physio Survey (BPS) - Abstract

Ann Green, L. DeSouza, R. Lowe, A. Walton

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract


Relevance: To capture and summarise contemporary physiotherapy practice in the UK, through case study at specific time points. This database provides background and context to research, education and practice. Purpose: A case study is often considered to be anecdotal evidence. However, a collection of case studies facilitates the understanding of the spectrum of contemporary practice. The purpose of this survey was to describe the range and complexity of physiotherapy practice using real life case reports. The collective work contributes to professional knowledge and understanding of the discipline. Approach/evaluation: A case study submission format with guidelines was developed by the project team. The fields for the case studies were designed to replicate a typical episode of care recorded by a physiotherapist in plain English, in the first person. The case study categories requested information about a physiotherapy event or episode of care, with clinical reasoning and a recorded outcome. Practice included education, research, management and clinical. The case studies were submitted online to Formstack. All were peer reviewed and moderated by a team of physiotherapists to ensure that the studies were anonymised and that unsafe/unethical practice was screened out. Professional judgements about content, approach, reasoning or outcomes were not made and once approved, the case studies were published online. The project was deemed not to need ethical approval by the National Research Ethics Service. Data were collected over a six week period. The BPS was promoted through social media and at a professional conference by the project team. Outcomes: The total number of case studies submitted was 131, with 89% (49% UK) accepted after review. There were participants from 6 settings; clinicians (69%), students (14%), educators (7%), other (4%), researcher (3%) and manager (3%). There were 7 settings identified including and ranging from outpatients (31%), community (24%) to voluntary (2%). There were 12 conditions selected with the most common being musculoskeletal (MSK) (27%), followed by neurology (24%) ranging to mental health (1%). Discussion and conclusions: The sample was inclusive, representing the range of roles and areas of practice for the profession. The largest group were clinicians with the most popular setting of MSK as expected. As this survey will be ongoing it will record changes and trends. The survey was open access, with half the case studies received from outside of the UK. This was unintentional but as physiotherapy is a global profession, rather than eliminate the non UK case studies, the team intend to promote a global survey, with country categories identified. Over 800 people viewed the case study submission form but did not continue. Lack of clarity on anonymity and the amount of detail required were identified as barriers, which we intend to address. Impact and implications: This is the first open access database of case studies in physiotherapy that provides a summary of contemporary practice. The BPS is developing a social and practice based movement and as submissions increase it will provide a valuable community of practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberPOS098
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
EventThe 4th European Congress of the European Region of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy - Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Nov 201612 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

This is a published abstract only. The abstract is of a paper given at The 4th European Congress of the European Region of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (ER-WCPT) Abstracts, Liverpool, UK, 11-12 November 2016


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