Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Mobilizing physiotherapy knowledge: Understanding the best evidence and barriers to implementation of hydrotherapy for musculoskeletal disease.




OBJECTIVES: To explore two linked strategies to highlight the best current available evidence for hydrotherapy and to explore the barriers and enablers to mobilizing this evidence into practice. METHOD: Phase 1: The best published evidence for hydrotherapy was collated using a Critically Appraised Topic (CAT) methodology. The focus was the best available research evidence for hydrotherapy in musculoskeletal conditions (i.e. osteoarthritis (OA), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and low back pain (LBP)). Once evaluated for quality, a summary of the evidence was produced in a Clinical Bottom Line (CBL). Phase 2: A Focus Group explored the: CBL, the barriers and facilitators of embedding the best evidence for hydrotherapy into practice. RESULTS: Phase 1: The CAT identified seven studies that indicated hydrotherapy had beneficial, although short term, effects for common musculoskeletal conditions. Phase 2: Six participants from primary, secondary care, private practice, and education discussed the evidence identified. They highlighted issues such as: understanding the value of hydrotherapy, an overuse of quantitative methodologies and the quality of existing research as being barriers to this knowledge being actively mobilized into clinical care. CONCLUSIONS: These two linked enquiries (CAT and Focus Group) identified the best evidence and the basis for discussion to explore barriers and facilitators of evidence use in practice. This gave an understanding of the reasons for the research to practice gap and thereby allows planning of knowledge mobilization strategies to reduce this.

Acceptance Date Oct 22, 2021
Publication Date Dec 2, 2021
Journal Physiotherapy Theory and Practice
Print ISSN 0959-3985
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Pages 1 - 8
Keywords Focus group; knowledge mobilization; hydrotherapy; musculoskeletal; critically appraised topic
Publisher URL