Do no harm

We’re all creatures of habit.

But when it comes to good, effective physiotherapy practice, doing what we’ve always done is not necessarily the best thing.

In a tough financial climate, every penny spent on healthcare has to count. Physios can’t tell their managers that they intervene in a certain way ‘because they always have’ or because they ‘just know’ it works. Managers want evidence before they part with limited resources.

As a physio, it’s important to keep abreast of what does and what doesn’t work. To show that what you’re doing really does make a difference; that you haven’t made it up.

It’s not so long since doctors grappled with the idea that interventions they’d undertaken for years didn’t actually make any difference. Classic examples were grommets operations for children with glue ear and D&C (dilation and curettage, or ‘scrape’) for women with heavy periods.

Twenty years ago the received wisdom on back pain was to lie in bed for several weeks. Now we know better: get up and move is the message. How did we reach that conclusion? By research.

So we’re delighted to launch Physio Findings, a new research round-ups resource.  Michele Harms, editor of the CSP’s Journal, Physiotherapy, outlines that journal’s special issue of her journal this month looking at how diseases relating to physiotherapy are classified by the World Health Organization.

And assistant editor Janet Wright looks at how to get your own research project off the ground successfully.

While it’s easy to feel despondent in the current climate, ensuring your practice is firmly evidence-based is a laudable first step.

What to find out more?

Go to the CSP’s National Physiotherapy Research Network, available via the society’s website.

Lynn Eaton Managing editor, Frontline

Lynn Eaton

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