In perspective: give it a go!

As someone who helps set the programme for the world’s major physiotherapy event, Aimée Stewart urges CSP members to ditch their inhibitions and submit their abstracts

The call has gone out.

The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) is inviting physiotherapists from all over the globe to submit abstracts for platform and poster presentations at next year’s WCPT congress in Singapore.

The WCPT congress, held from 1 to 4 May, is physiotherapy’s most important global event.

The last one, held in Amsterdam in 2011, attracted 5,500 participants from 113 countries.

The prospect of presenting at an international event might sound a bit daunting. You might think there’s no chance of your abstract being accepted.

Why would a global audience be interested in your nationally-based research or practice?  

You’d be surprised. When WCPT recently interviewed physiotherapists who had presented papers at congress, it found that several of them felt that their abstract had little chance of being accepted when they submitted it.

One of them, Aliya Chaudry, who is now dean of a physical therapy school in the US, said it felt scary when she was encouraged to submit for the 2007 congress with only five years’ experience in the profession.

‘But I decided there had to be a first time,’ she said. In the event she had two abstracts accepted. ‘It gave me the confidence to keep on submitting abstracts, and to keep on presenting, and I haven’t looked back since.’

How do you know if your work will be of interest on an international stage? There’s only one real way to find out, and that’s to give it a go.

A WCPT congress brings together a world of physiotherapists, and invariably there will be others there who have similar interests and are keen to share and learn with you.

What brings everyone together is an interest in good outcomes for our patients through the provision of high-quality evidence based physiotherapy.

Personally, I think innovative ideas about patient management can have a wide interest.

All of us are, in different ways, dealing with increasing demands in the face of reduced health spending.

So many want to find out about ways of changing practice to adjust to changes in staffing and resources.

For researchers, both experienced and novice, the congress offers a platform to get exposure and meet researchers in similar areas.

Presenting your research at congress provides opportunities to assess your work in an international context, rather than a national one.

We are planning some great activities for young researchers and there will be plenty of opportunities to network, visit units, get new ideas and develop ideas for joint research.

Even if your abstract is not accepted, just attending congress brings countless opportunities for sharing, learning and understanding the challenges facing colleagues in other countries. Visit WCPT call for abstracts

Aimée Stewart chairs the international scientific committee for the WCPT Congress 2015

Aimée Stewart

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