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Physiother Can. 2011 Spring;63(2):234-41. doi: 10.3138/ptc.2010-09. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

Perceptions of physiotherapy best practice in total knee arthroplasty in hospital outpatient settings.

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Sampa Samanta Majumdar, MScPT, BScPT: Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario.



The primary purpose of this study was to examine experienced physiotherapists' perceptions of best practices for patients following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in publicly funded outpatient hospital settings in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The secondary objective was to identify the facilitators of and barriers to implementing best practices in the subacute phase of rehabilitation.


A qualitative, descriptive, focused ethnographic approach was used to explore physiotherapists' perceptions of best practices for patients with TKA. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with expert physiotherapists acting as key informants. A snowball sampling method was used to recruit physiotherapists in the GTA. Interviews were conducted in person by two of the investigators.


Physiotherapists from seven acute-care hospitals in the GTA participated in the study. Analysis of the 140 pages of transcripts from the interviews with 10 physiotherapists revealed that participants perceived best practices as encompassing the adoption of a client-centred approach; inter-professional collaboration; aggressive rehabilitation for patients who are unsuccessful in achieving their outcomes; the use of relevant outcome measures; and consideration of the impact of scarce resources on care.


The findings of this study highlight physiotherapists' perceived best practices for patients with TKA and the unique contribution that hospital-based outpatient physiotherapy can make to patients' rehabilitation.


best practice; osteoarthritis; physiotherapy; total knee arthoplasty

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