Original Research

Attitudes, perceptions and barriers around evidence-based practice in sports physiotherapy in Kenya

Thomas K. Mwololo, Benita Oliver, Wallace M. Karuguti, Joseph M. Matheri
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 77, No 1 | a1561 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v77i1.1561 | © 2021 Thomas K. Mwololo, Benita Olivier, Wallace M. Karuguti, Joseph M. Matheri | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 February 2021 | Published: 30 August 2021

About the author(s)

Thomas K. Mwololo, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Medicine, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Benita Oliver, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Wallace M. Karuguti, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Medicine, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Joseph M. Matheri, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Medicine, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya


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Abstract

Background: Healthcare practitioners are required to integrate clinical experience with the best research evidence for the benefit of the patient.

Objective: Determine the attitudes, perceptions and barriers regarding evidence-based practice (EBP) in sports physiotherapy in Kenya.

Method: A quantitative crosssectional study was conducted among licensed physiotherapists in the Republic of Kenya through a self-administered questionnaire. Associations between selected sociodemographic characteristics (gender, age, training, experience, specialisation) and attitudes, perceptions and barriers were determined using a Chi-square test.

Results: A 55.9% (n = 391) response rate was recorded. A positive attitude towards EBP was reported by 94.6% (n = 370) of the respondents. The most obvious areas of agreement with attitude-and perception-related statements were that ‘EBP is important in that patients can receive the best possible treatment’ (95.9%; n = 375), and that it is important that ‘evidence-based guidelines related to work exist’ (84.6%; n = 331). There were no significant associations between the demographic characteristics (gender p = 0.104 [X2 = 2.638;1]; age p = 0.495 [X2 = 2.393;3]; training p = 0.590 [X2 = 4.644;6]; experience p = 0.980 [X2 = 0.426;4] and specialisation p = 0.649 [X2= 0.207;1]); and attitudes and perceptions regarding EBP. Insufficient time was highlighted by 57.8% (n = 226) of the respondents as one of the ‘most important barriers’.

Conclusion: Although physiotherapists presented with strong positive attitudes towards EBP in sports physiotherapy, barriers were identified which could hinder the implementation of EBP in sports physiotherapy.

Clinical implications: Barriers to applying EBP in sports physiotherapy may lead to inferior quality of care for athletes while addressing these barriers is crucial.


Keywords

evidence-based practice; standards; sports physiotherapy; Kenya; attitude; perceptions, EBP

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