Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neurol Phys Ther. 2014 Apr;38(2):134-43. doi: 10.1097/NPT.0000000000000034.

Supporting clinical practice behavior change among neurologic physical therapists: a case study in knowledge translation.

Author information

  • 1Physical Therapy Program, Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (S.B.P.); and Outpatient Neuro/Vestibular Program (H.Z.) and Stroke Rehabilitation Program, UPMC Centers for Rehab Services, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (T.B.).



Physical therapists tend to underuse research evidence in clinical practice. Emerging research on knowledge translation activities (KTAs) provides guidance to address this problem. We describe a yearlong effort to promote clinical practice behavior change in neurologic physical therapists.


Physical therapy stroke and brain injury teams in an inpatient rehabilitation setting implemented a quality improvement project to encourage use of a novel, evidence-supported gait training method (nonsupported gait training [NSGT]) for patients with hemiparesis.


The project consisted of multidimensional KTAs, including (1) quarterly staff meetings at which NSGT was introduced, reviewed, and discussed; (2) group and individual dialogue regarding successes, challenges, solutions, and clinical decision-making; (3) ongoing monitoring of and aggregate feedback about appropriate NSGT attempts via chart audit; and (4) ongoing reminders, role modeling, and clinical consultation. Specific staff perceptions about the approach, captured by a mid-year survey, further informed targeted problem-solving and clinical case presentations.


In the first, second, and fourth quarter, 50%, 60%, and 73% of eligible patients were trained with NSGT, respectively. A mid-year survey showed that 19% of therapists were very/moderately familiar with NSGT before the quality improvement project, versus 78% at the 6-month point. Thirty-three percent stated that they used NSGT almost always/often before the project, versus 66% at the 6-month point.


Extensive multidimensional KTAs were feasible in inpatient rehabilitation and were accompanied by a moderate increase in documented and self-reported frequency of NSGT attempts. Clinical teams may benefit from adopting KTAs that best support clinical practice change.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk