Original Research

A comparative survey of Nigerian physiotherapists’ familiarity with, knowledge of and utilisation of standard outcome measures: 10 years after initial survey

Adesola C. Odole, Olufemi O. Oyewole, Aderonke O. Akinpelu
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 74, No 1 | a435 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v74i1.435 | © 2018 Adesola C. Odole, Olufemi O. Oyewole, Aderonke O. Akinpelu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 November 2017 | Published: 28 June 2018

About the author(s)

Adesola C. Odole, Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Olufemi O. Oyewole, Department of Physiotherapy, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
Aderonke O. Akinpelu, Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: The need for physiotherapists to use standardised outcome measures (SOMs) is recognised and recommended in clinical practice guidelines in many countries.

Aim: To evaluate changes in physiotherapy practice in Nigeria on the utilisation of SOMs and physiotherapists’ familiarity with and knowledge of SOMs over the past decade.

Methods: A comparative cross-sectional survey of present data with 2006 data was undertaken. The existing validated questionnaire of 2006 was used to assess physiotherapists’ familiarity with, knowledge of and utilisation of 16 SOMs.

Results: There was a noticeable change in familiarity with and utilisation of 16 SOMs in the current data and in knowledge. Between 52% and 90% of physiotherapists were not familiar with 14 SOMs in 2006, whereas 51.4% – 85.8% of physiotherapists were not familiar with 8 SOMs in 2016; 77% – 97% and 63.4% – 97.3% of physiotherapists were not utilising SOMs in the 2006 and 2016 data, respectively. The least utilised SOMs in 2006 were Western Ontario McMaster Osteoarthritis Index, Chedoke McMaster Stroke Assessment and SF-36 Health Survey; in 2016, it was only the Chedoke McMaster Stroke Assessment. The Visual Analogue Scale and Gross Motor Function Measure remained the most utilised in both data. Duration of practice, age and sex were significant factors for the utilisation of and familiarity with SOMs.

Conclusion: There was an improvement in the familiarity with, knowledge of and utilisation of SOMs over the past decade among Nigerian physiotherapists but the level of utilisation is unsatisfactory. Action is required if routine outcome measurement is to be achieved.

Clinical Implications: Utilisation of SOMs is part of core standards of physiotherapy practice for effective management of patients. Although the utilisation of SOMs improved over the past 10 years, it is very low. Therefore, studies directed at finding factors responsible for low utilisation of SOMs among Nigerian physiotherapists are warranted.


Keywords

Outcome measure; familiarity; knowledge; utilization; trend; Nigerian physiotherapists

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