Dutch PEDro workshop: how to use scientific literature in daily practice

Niek Koenders (physical therapist and PhD student at Radboudumc, Nijmegen), Ward Heij (physical therapist and PhD student at Radboudumc, Nijmegen) and Mitchell van Doormaal (physical therapist and policy advisor at the Royal Dutch Society for Physical Therapy, Amersfoort) have collaborated with PEDro to share the PEDro Top 5 Trials from 2014-2019 with Dutch physiotherapists. We thank them for sharing this description of the Dutch PEDro workshop with us.

In the context of the collaboration between PEDro and the Royal Dutch Society for Physical Therapy, we introduced the PEDro Top 5 Trials from 2014-2019 to Dutch physiotherapists. Our annual conference was the perfect opportunity for this. On November 16, over 1,500 physiotherapists, researchers, teachers and other professionals attended the “Day of the Physical Therapist” (or “Dag van de Fysiotherapeut” in Dutch) at the Brabanthallen, Den Bosch. After the opening ceremony, in which Prof Dr Erik Scherder pleaded for more physical activity in the Dutch population and highlighted the key role that physiotherapists can play in increasing activity levels, the attendees could choose from 50 parallel sessions on offer at the conference.

In the afternoon, we organized two workshops on PEDro’s Top 5 Trials from 2014-2019. Our main goal was to help physiotherapists read and interpret findings from scientific literature. The items of the PEDro scale guided the reading of the article and helped participants to recognize important potential sources for bias. The physiotherapists found the PEDro scores very useful for screening methodological quality. In addition, the physiotherapists used the Consensus on Therapeutic Exercise Training scale (CONTENT) to assess the therapeutic validity of the exercise programs used in the trials. This helped participants to assess the dosage and type of intervention for use in daily practice. The first workshop was attended by a small group of nine practicing physiotherapists, which made personal coaching possible. The second workshop had a larger group of 23 participants (therapists, researchers, full professors, and policy staff) who were all very impressed with the work and knowledge that PEDro supports. Ultimately, all participants left the workshop with a big smile and additional skills and knowledge on how to use scientific literature in daily practice.

We will continue our journey in helping physiotherapists to use scientific literature in their daily clinical practice.

Pictured are Dutch physiotherapists evaluating the PEDro Top 5 Trials from 2014-2019 at the workshop.

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