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Exploring the use of ultrasound imaging by physiotherapists: An international survey

Exploring the use of ultrasound imaging by physiotherapists: An international survey
Exploring the use of ultrasound imaging by physiotherapists: An international survey
Background
National surveys in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom suggest ultrasound imaging (USI) use by physiotherapists is increasing. However, concerns exist regarding clarity for scopes of practice, and availability and standardisation of training.

Objectives
To investigate physiotherapists' understanding of scopes of practice for the use of USI; clarify the professional contexts, clinical uses and levels of training; and identify barriers preventing physiotherapists’ USI use.

Design
A cross-sectional, observational survey.

Methods
An Internet-based survey, offered in 20 different languages, was used including items covering five domains: (1) demographic and professional characteristics; (2) knowledge of scope of practice; (3) USI use; (4) USI training content and duration; and (5) perceived barriers to physiotherapists’ use of USI.

Results
1307 registered physiotherapists from 49 countries responded; 30% were unsure of the scope of practice for physiotherapists’ USI use. 38% of participants were users of USI, reporting varied contexts and clinical uses, reflected in the broader categories of: (i) biofeedback; (ii) diagnosis; (iii) assessment; (iv) injection guidance; (v) research; (vi) and teaching. The training users received varied, with formal training more comprehensive. 62% were non-users, the most common barrier was lack of training (76%).

Conclusion
These findings suggest physiotherapists' USI use is increasing in various contexts; however, there is uncertainty regarding scopes of practice. There are discrepancies in training offered, with a lack of training the most common barrier to physiotherapists’ use of USI. International guidelines, including a USI training framework, are needed to support the consistent and sustainable use of USI in physiotherapy.
Musculoskeletal imaging, Physical therapy, Physiotherapy, Survey, Ultrasound imaging
2468-7812
Ellis, Richard
bf3e2ce1-2010-4487-81ed-e0c25be4fe17
Helsby, Jake
f73e6349-589d-417e-b7d2-caa1975c837d
Naus, Jade
2d93277b-c4bb-40b7-932a-ad13dc2f94fe
Bassett, Sandra
c93124dc-ed64-48a3-8c66-f508ab2028e0
Fernández-de-las-peñas, César
22b2b87c-159d-49f4-a4b6-7af81284868c
Carnero, Samuel Fernández
69369753-36af-4427-b8a1-4b364a2cb65b
Hides, Julie
08c9d2a0-4414-4858-9cc5-fa9af67d79e5
O'sullivan, Cliona
95c59ab7-f8f1-4a1e-b67f-22456eb70253
Teyhen, Deydre
c45f27ae-f5e0-42f3-9bb8-8650486eccea
Stokes, Maria
71730503-70ce-4e67-b7ea-a3e54579717f
Whittaker, Jackie L.
fc854e87-cb7a-441a-bf5d-0d42990eaffb
Ellis, Richard
bf3e2ce1-2010-4487-81ed-e0c25be4fe17
Helsby, Jake
f73e6349-589d-417e-b7d2-caa1975c837d
Naus, Jade
2d93277b-c4bb-40b7-932a-ad13dc2f94fe
Bassett, Sandra
c93124dc-ed64-48a3-8c66-f508ab2028e0
Fernández-de-las-peñas, César
22b2b87c-159d-49f4-a4b6-7af81284868c
Carnero, Samuel Fernández
69369753-36af-4427-b8a1-4b364a2cb65b
Hides, Julie
08c9d2a0-4414-4858-9cc5-fa9af67d79e5
O'sullivan, Cliona
95c59ab7-f8f1-4a1e-b67f-22456eb70253
Teyhen, Deydre
c45f27ae-f5e0-42f3-9bb8-8650486eccea
Stokes, Maria
71730503-70ce-4e67-b7ea-a3e54579717f
Whittaker, Jackie L.
fc854e87-cb7a-441a-bf5d-0d42990eaffb

Ellis, Richard, Helsby, Jake, Naus, Jade, Bassett, Sandra, Fernández-de-las-peñas, César, Carnero, Samuel Fernández, Hides, Julie, O'sullivan, Cliona, Teyhen, Deydre, Stokes, Maria and Whittaker, Jackie L. (2020) Exploring the use of ultrasound imaging by physiotherapists: An international survey. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, 49, [102213]. (doi:10.1016/j.msksp.2020.102213).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background
National surveys in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom suggest ultrasound imaging (USI) use by physiotherapists is increasing. However, concerns exist regarding clarity for scopes of practice, and availability and standardisation of training.

Objectives
To investigate physiotherapists' understanding of scopes of practice for the use of USI; clarify the professional contexts, clinical uses and levels of training; and identify barriers preventing physiotherapists’ USI use.

Design
A cross-sectional, observational survey.

Methods
An Internet-based survey, offered in 20 different languages, was used including items covering five domains: (1) demographic and professional characteristics; (2) knowledge of scope of practice; (3) USI use; (4) USI training content and duration; and (5) perceived barriers to physiotherapists’ use of USI.

Results
1307 registered physiotherapists from 49 countries responded; 30% were unsure of the scope of practice for physiotherapists’ USI use. 38% of participants were users of USI, reporting varied contexts and clinical uses, reflected in the broader categories of: (i) biofeedback; (ii) diagnosis; (iii) assessment; (iv) injection guidance; (v) research; (vi) and teaching. The training users received varied, with formal training more comprehensive. 62% were non-users, the most common barrier was lack of training (76%).

Conclusion
These findings suggest physiotherapists' USI use is increasing in various contexts; however, there is uncertainty regarding scopes of practice. There are discrepancies in training offered, with a lack of training the most common barrier to physiotherapists’ use of USI. International guidelines, including a USI training framework, are needed to support the consistent and sustainable use of USI in physiotherapy.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 June 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 June 2020
Keywords: Musculoskeletal imaging, Physical therapy, Physiotherapy, Survey, Ultrasound imaging

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 443104
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443104
ISSN: 2468-7812
PURE UUID: 98992d42-efdb-456a-b09d-a47f30150c93
ORCID for Maria Stokes: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4204-0890

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Aug 2020 16:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:00

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Contributors

Author: Richard Ellis
Author: Jake Helsby
Author: Jade Naus
Author: Sandra Bassett
Author: César Fernández-de-las-peñas
Author: Samuel Fernández Carnero
Author: Julie Hides
Author: Cliona O'sullivan
Author: Deydre Teyhen
Author: Maria Stokes ORCID iD
Author: Jackie L. Whittaker

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