Research: GEIGLE and GALANTINO,

Listed in Issue 185

Abstract

GEIGLE and GALANTINO,  University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Baltimore, MD 21210, USA. pgeigle@som.umaryland.edu determine the current prevalence, and at what level, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) content is included in physical therapist (PT) education in the United States. This survey study provides self-report data regarding reasons why faculty members choose to include or not include CAM into programme content.

Background

This study investigates the current prevalence of CAM content, and what level of inclusion (minimal, moderate, advanced) in PT curricula will assist programmes as they modify existing curricula and develop new programmes.

Methodology

All 196 US-accredited programmes were included in our survey. An IRB-approved (Investigational Review Board), pilot-tested, two-page survey was emailed to all programme chairpersons of accredited PT programmes. A hard copy survey was mailed to non-responding programmes. Returned surveys were analyzed descriptively to characterize the data shape, tendency and variability. Data were summarized in a frequency distribution and graphically depicted in a histogram for each category. In addition, qualitative analysis was completed for the explanatory data.

Results

Forty-seven per cent (92) of all accredited PT programmes (196) responded. Most commonly included CAM areas were: manipulative and body-based methods, alternative medical systems and biologically based therapies. Most frequent responses to limitations to including CAM in PT curriculum were: limited curriculum time, lack of evidence supporting CAM practices and trouble locating qualified CAM presenters.

Conclusion

This survey suggests the following: CAM techniques are included in entry-level PT education in the United States; the majority of these techniques are offered at the minimum or exposure level; manipulative and body-based methods, alternative medical systems and biologically based therapies are the most frequently included CAM techniques.

References

Geigle PR and Galantino ML. Complementary and alternative medicine inclusion in physical therapist education in the United States. Physiotherapy Research International. 14(4):224-33. Dec 2009.

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