Advice line: identifying the top research questions about physiotherapy

Katherine Jones on a CSP bid to identify the top research questions about physiotherapy.

The CSP has initiated a Physiotherapy Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) with the James Lind Alliance (JLA), a non-profit making body. The aim is to enable clinicians, patients and carers to work together to identify top research questions in the physiotherapy field. This will, in turn, help to ensure that bodies offering funds for health research know what really matters to patients and those involved in delivering their care. 
As part of this project, the PSP will identify and prioritise the main ‘uncertainties’ about physiotherapy that could be answered by research. See here. The CSP’s project team and an external steering group will set up and oversee the project, facilitated by the JLA and funded by the CSP Charitable Trust. 
The CSP’s last research priority-setting exercise took place in 2010. This revealed some overlapping priorities in four areas of physiotherapy: musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory, neurology, and health and wellbeing. These priorities related to the following themes: adherence; dosage; cost effectiveness; best practice; self-management; service provision; seven-day working; quality of life; physical activity; collaborations and behaviour change. 
PSP lead Gabrielle Rankin explains: ‘The 2010 findings showed that, in addition to questions about specific interventions, physiotherapy research priorities should also address how physiotherapy is delivered and its cost effectiveness. The CSP’s approach to updating physiotherapy research priorities will therefore take a broader approach, encompassing clinical practice, service delivery, workforce development and policy in the UK. As person-centred physiotherapy is an overriding priority, involving patients and carers in the project as equal partners is important.’
We would like to invite anyone with experience of physiotherapy in the UK to take part in a survey and help us to identify those questions about physiotherapy that need answering. 
  • Katherine Jones is a CSP research adviser
Katherine Jones CSP research adviser

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