Exploring the clinical use of ultrasound imaging by physiotherapists in New Zealand

Richard Ellis, R.S. De Jong, Sanda Bassett, Jake Helsby, Maria Stokes, Mindy Cairns

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentationpeer-review

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Background: In New Zealand ultrasound imaging (USI) is being used increasingly by physiotherapists. To fully understand the extent to which physiotherapists in New Zealand are using USI, it is necessary to evaluate not only the context of its clinical use but also the barriers preventing its uptake.
Purpose: To examine the field and scope of use of USI, the type and content of training, and the barriers restricting physiotherapists from using the technique.
Methods: An electronic survey built on the design of previous research with guidance from an expert review panel to shape the survey to be specific to the New Zealand context. Participants were included if they were New Zealand registered physiotherapists.
Results: Of the 465 participants who responded, 433 were eligible to complete the survey. There were 415 participants who completed the survey, 24% who said they used USI whilst 76% did not. For those using USI, the uses were varied including those within a rehabilitative
paradigm (i.e. biofeedback; 52%) and also diagnostic (49%). USI training was also varied ranging from formal to informal. The main barriers preventing physiotherapists from using USI were lack of training, access to equipment, and equipment expense.
Conclusion(s): The participants reported a variety of clinical uses of USI and levels of training. A better understanding of the clinical uses and benefits of USI would enhance both training and clinical uptake. With the identification of barriers limiting physiotherapists´ use of USI, ways to overcome these in New Zealand can now be explored further.
Implications: The findings of this research will have an impact on the design and implementation of future USI training, for physiotherapists, within New Zealand. This planning can take into account the barriers for uptake and resolve to mitigate these. This research will also help to inform a wider international survey
Key-Words: Physiotherapists, Ultrasound Imaging, Survey
Funding acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Physiotherapy New Zealand Scholarship Trust Fund.
Ethics approval: Did this work require ethics approval?:Yes
Institution: Auckland University of Technology
Ethics Committee: Auckland University of Technology Ethics Committee
Ethics number: 16/352
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2019
EventWCPT World Congress of Physical Therapy 2019 - Geneva , Switzerland
Duration: 10 May 201913 May 2019


ConferenceWCPT World Congress of Physical Therapy 2019
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