#PEDroTacklesBarriers to evidence-based physiotherapy: language

Language is an important barrier to accessing and implementing evidence-based physiotherapy in many countries, with English being the dominant language used to publish and disseminate evidence-based research and guidelines.

This month the barrier of language is tackled. Five physiotherapists and groups share how they have tackled the language barrier for the #PEDroTacklesBarriers to evidence-based physiotherapy campaign.

Tiê Parma Yamato, Brazil
Tiê Parma Yamato is a researcher where English is her second language. Tiê prioritised learning English to overcome the language barrier as most research is disseminated in English. Initially, she relied heavily on translation services (i.e. Google translate), took English courses, and read a lot in English. She travelled to Australia to further immerse herself in the English language. As she became more familiar with the language, she engaged with more complex vocabulary and discussion, giving her more in-depth understanding of the literature and evidence-based practice.

Zbyszek Wroński, Poland
PEDro was recently translated into Polish, which has led to a large increase in PEDro-related searches from Poland and increased the accessibility of evidence-based practice among Polish physiotherapists. The PEDro resource is now used in physiotherapy courses in Poland to teach and promote evidence-based practice. Accessibility to research has improved with this resource, however language continues to be a barrier since most research articles are published in English.

Cynthia Srikesavan, Tamil Nadu, India
A small group of Tamil speaking physiotherapists trained from Tamil Nadu in Southern India have been running a monthly virtual journal club since 2020. One strategy they use to overcome the language barrier is to use both English and Tamil during their journal clubs. For example, they introduce initial article structure and concepts in Tamil, have their more formal presentations in English, and end with broader group discussions back in Tamil. This, amongst other strategies, improves their English and understanding of evidence-based physiotherapy.

Anne-Kathrin Rausch, Physioscience, Germany
Physioscience is a platform that publishes research in the German language and is the Official publication of Germany’s Society for Physiotherapy Science. To make research more accessible, Physioscience publishes work in both German and English. In every issue, Physioscience publishes three ‘Gelesen & Kommentiert’ articles. These articles are in German and include a summary (abstract) of the published work, followed by a critical appraisal and comment to discuss the topic within the context of physiotherapy in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Nynke Swart, KNGF, the Netherlands
Nynke Swart says KNGF (Royal Dutch Society for Physical Therapy) have developed 16 clinical guidelines that are relevant for physiotherapy practice in the Netherlands. When developing guidelines, they mainly focus on Dutch and English studies. The evidence together with other considerations is translated into easy-to-use recommendations for physiotherapists by a group of experts. KNGF disseminate their guidelines in both Dutch and English to increase accessibility.

Please join us in the ‘PEDroTacklesBarriers to evidence-based physiotherapy’ campaign to help tackle the biggest barriers to evidence-based physiotherapy. You can follow the campaign on the PEDro webpage, blog, Twitter (@PEDro_database) or Facebook (@PhysiotherapyEvidenceDatabase.PEDro).

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