Knowledge and attitudes of entry-level and final-level physical therapy students about evidence-based practice - A cross-sectional study
Keywords:Evidence-Based Practice. Physical Therapy Specialty. Education.
Evidence-based practice (EBP) has gained widespread acceptance in the health profession. Little is known about the attitudes, knowledge, and behavior about EBP of physical therapy students at different levels in Brazil. OBJECTIVES: To compare the EBP-related knowledge, practice, attitudes between the entry-level and final-level physical therapy students. METHODS: A cross-sectional study including 60 physical therapy students was conducted. The participants completed a questionnaire to determine their attitudes, knowledge, practice skills and barriers regarding EBP. The survey consisted of 38 items about EBP (relevance, terminology and practice skills) and 7 items related as barriers to adopt the EBP during physical therapy graduation. Total scores were calculated. For each of the three sections scores of a 5-point Likert scale were considered. RESULTS: The sample was composed of 40 students in the entry-level and 20 in the final-level. The mean age of the sample was 23.3 (SD=7.6). The mean score of the sample in the EBP survey was 83.5 (SD=20.8). We did not find difference between final-level group (mean=101.6; SD=17.8) and entry-level students (mean=74.5; SD= 15.8) (p=.45). Students of the final-level group presented higher scores in all EBP sections (relevance, terminology, practice skills). A higher mean difference was observed in terminology (-17.8) section. The most common barriers reported by the students of both groups were “lack of knowledge of statistics” (19.3%), “lack of time” (17.7%) and “language” (16%). CONCLUSION: The difference in all sections about evidence based knowledge and attitudes where not expressive between the final-level and the entry-level students. Regarding practice skills, students were not confident about their abilities in the EBP steps.
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