This study aimed to establish and compare current physiotherapy management of GTPS in Australia, New Zealand (NZ) and Ireland.
Cross-sectional observational survey of physiotherapists.
An online survey was distributed to registered musculoskeletal physiotherapists in Australia, NZ and Ireland. Ordinal and nominal data were analysed using frequency counts or mean ranks; median and interquartile ranges were calculated for numerical data. Inter-country comparisons were made using Chi-squared analyses for nominal/ordinal data and Kruskal–Wallis tests for numerical data. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.
Valid responses were received from 361 physiotherapists, 61% were female and 80% worked in private practice. Overall, consistency in treatment of GTPS was observed across the three countries. All physiotherapists used education and exercise (most commonly strengthening and neuromuscular control) primarily targeting the gluteal muscles. Other interventions included massage (90%), stretching (53%), range of motion (40%), thermal modalities (50%), taping (38%) and electrotherapy (25%), whilst 40% commonly recommended up to 2 to 3 corticosteroid injections per patient/per annum. Physiotherapists used pain severity scales as their primary outcome measure (79%). Single leg stance was the most common physical measure used (68%), and global rating scores or standardised physical measures were less commonly used.
This international survey established the physiotherapy management of GTPS. Education used in conjunction with exercise is in line with current evidence, but a proportion of clinicians use adjunct treatments without clear rationale or supporting evidence. Results indicate the need to further define optimal management of GTPS using robust methodologies such as randomised controlled trials.