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Physiother Can. 2012 Winter;64(1):42-52. doi: 10.3138/ptc.2010-39. Epub 2012 Jan 31.

Achieving consensus on recommendations for the clinical management of overweight and obese adults for canadian physiotherapy practice.

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MSK Program, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Hillcrest Centre.



The purpose of this study was to reach consensus on the importance and feasibility of clinical practice guideline (CPG) recommendations for physiotherapy practice for the prevention and management of overweight and obesity in Canadian adults.


We used a modified Delphi method to achieve consensus. Participants rated the importance and feasibility of recommendations using a nine-point scale in two rounds of electronic surveys and a conference call. The mean and distribution of ratings were analyzed to determine consensus.


Twenty-one physiotherapists experienced in the management of patients with obesity and representing diverse regions of Canada and areas of practice participated. Seventeen (81.0%) completed survey 1. Ten (47.6%) participated in the conference call and survey 2. Eight of 34 strategies received mean ratings of 7.00 or more for both importance and feasibility from at least two-thirds of participants. These strategies were related to physical activity prescription and assessment.


A sample of physiotherapists in Canada agreed that obesity-related CPGs contain recommendations that are important to physiotherapy practice. These findings, along with the Canadian Physiotherapy Association's position statement on obesity, provide support for the argument that physiotherapists, as direct-access practitioners or members of multidisciplinary teams, should play a role in the health care of people with obesity and overweight.


Delphi technique; obesity; overweight; physical therapy; practice guideline

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