Academic journal article Journal, Physical Therapy Education

Letter to the Editor

Academic journal article Journal, Physical Therapy Education

Letter to the Editor

Article excerpt

EVIDENCE-BASED EDUCATION?

There is currently a push within the physical therapy profession for evidence-based practice, a concept that certainly has merit. Part of the impetus to advocate evidence-based practice is questioning the practitioner's utilization of examination procedures and treatment interventions that have no or at best questionable support in the scientific literature. Dr Anthony Delitto recently pointed out a case of "non-evidence-based practice," but from a different perspective. In the July 1998 issue of Physical Therapy, Dr Delitto states that manipulation is underutilized by physical therapists in typical outpatient clinical settings. t This is despite the fact that there is "compelling evidence supporting the use of manipulation for patients with acute low back pain.''l(P76) Delitto offers four possible explanations for physical therapists' reluctance to provide a seemingly appropriate service: 1) rejection of existing literature, 2) excessive commitment to particular modes of therapy, 3) tendency to discount competing therapies, and 4) condition of professional uncertainty. I propose a fifth possible explanation, a lack of physical therapist preparation in the area of manipulation. Although I do not profess to have in-depth knowledge of each and every physical therapist academic program's curriculum, it is my observation that entry-level training in this country in the area of high-velocity thrust technique is virtually nonexistent. …

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