Physiotherapy Top 10

  1. When health problems are developing, at what point is physiotherapy most/least effective for improving patient results compared to no physiotherapy? What factors affect this?
  2. When used by physiotherapists, what methods are effective in helping patients to make health changes, engage with treatment, check their progress, or manage their health after discharge?
  3. What are the best ways to deliver physiotherapy services to meet patients' needs and improve outcomes for patients and services?
  4. To stop health problems occurring or worsening, what physiotherapy treatments, advice or approaches are safe and effective? Where more than one treatment/approach works, which work best and in what dose?
  5. What are patients' expectations regarding recovery, how do these compare to physiotherapists' views and, where recovery is not possible, how is this managed?
  6. How does waiting for physiotherapy affect patient and service outcomes?
  7. What parts of physiotherapy treatments cause behaviour change or physical improvement?
  8. What approaches are effective for enabling parents, relations or carers to support physiotherapy treatment or to help patients to manage their own health problem?
  9. How is patient progress and/or the results of physiotherapy treatment measured? How is service performance measured and checked?
  10. How can access to physiotherapy be improved for groups who have reduced access?

    The following questions were also discussed and put in order of priority at the workshop:

  11. How does the amount of physiotherapy received affect results for patients and services? What are optimal session lengths, frequency and duration of treatment?
  12. What do the people who fund services and internal budget holders understand about the role of physiotherapy and how do they make funding decisions?
  13. What do patients expect of physiotherapy and understand in terms of remaining healthy, their condition and their role in self-management?
  14. Do staffing levels and skill mix impact patient and service outcomes? What are the best staffing levels and skill mixes in different areas of physiotherapy and how do these compare to current staffing provision?
  15. When trying to improve patient and service outcomes, what types of exercises, doses and methods of delivery are effective?
  16. What factors predict the onset of health problems, patient responses to physiotherapy or their abilities to make health changes/self-manage?Which patients (if any) are likely to benefit most/least from physiotherapy?
  17. How well do patients recall physiotherapy advice and to what extent do patients follow this advice?
  18. What methods do physiotherapists use to treat patients, to help them gain skills to manage their condition and to use them in their daily lives?
  19. What types of exercises, doses and methods of delivery are effective in stopping health problems occurring or worsening?
  20. What training is available to physiotherapists for developing their skills either working with different conditions or using more specialist approaches?
  21. How do physiotherapists decide on what their treatment plans include and/or when to refer on? What influences the types of evidence they use?
  22. What are patients offered nationally in terms of treatment sessions, appointment times and follow-on care? How is it checked that this is enough?
  23. What's the availability of physiotherapy services nationally, how does this compare between specialisms, countries, or to documented need? What affects service availability across the UK?
  24. How are different physiotherapy services provided, staffed and accessed across the UK and what influences this?
  25. What are the physiological effects of different physiotherapy treatments?

Document downloads

For full details of all of the questions identified by this PSP, please see the documents below.