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Aust J Physiother. 2006;52(3):165-74.

Evaluating two implementation strategies for whiplash guidelines in physiotherapy: a cluster randomised trial.

Author information

1
University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia. t.rebbeck@fhs.usyd.edu.au

Abstract

QUESTION:

Are implementation strategies involving education any more effective than mere dissemination of clinical practice guidelines in changing physiotherapy practice and reducing patient disability after acute whiplash?

DESIGN:

Cluster-randomised trial.

PARTICIPANTS:

Twenty-seven physiotherapists from different private physiotherapy clinics and the 103 patients (4 dropouts) who presented to them with acute whiplash.

INTERVENTION:

The implementation group of physiotherapists underwent education by opinion leaders about whiplash guidelines and the dissemination group had the guidelines mailed to them.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The primary outcome was patient disability, measured using the Functional Rating Index, collected on admission to the trial and at 1.5, 3, 6 and 12 months. Physiotherapist knowledge about the guidelines was measured using a custom-made questionnaire. Physiotherapist practice and cost of care were measured by audit of patient notes.

RESULTS:

There were no significant differences between groups for any of the patient outcomes at any time. The implementation patients had 0.6 points (95% CI -7.8 to 6.6) less disability than the dissemination patients at 12 months; 44% more physiotherapists in the implementation group reported that they prescribed two out of the five guideline-recommended treatments; and 32% more physiotherapists actually prescribed them. The cost of care for patients in the implementation group was $255 (95% CI -1505 to 996) less than for patients in the dissemination group.

CONCLUSION:

Although the active implementation program increased guideline-consistent practice, patient outcomes and cost of care were not affected.

PMID:
16942451
DOI:
10.1016/s0004-9514(06)70025-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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