Open Access Open Badges Research article

Effectiveness of the tailored Evidence Based Practice training program for Filipino physical therapists: a randomized controlled trial

Janine Margarita R Dizon12*, Karen Grimmer-Somers1 and Saravana Kumar1

Author Affiliations

1 International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, University of South Australia, City East Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide 5000, Australia

2 University of Santo Tomas, Manila 1015, Philippines

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BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:147  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-147

Published: 17 July 2014



This study evaluated the effectiveness of the contextualized EBP training program for Filipino physical therapists in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior.


A randomized controlled trial was designed to assess the effectiveness of the EBP training program. Fifty four physical therapists were randomly allocated to the EBP group (intervention) and waitlist (control) group. The EBP group had a one day face-to-face training with an online support, whilst the control was waitlisted. There were three measurement points which were pre, post, and three months post intervention for knowledge, skills and attitudes. Activity diaries were used to measure behavior. The diaries were collected after three months. Data analysis was by intention to treat in EBP domains of knowledge, skills and attitudes.


Fifty-four physical therapists were included in the study. Fifty two (52) completed the post training assessment and 26 completed the 3 months post training assessment for EBP knowledge, skills and attitudes. There were significant improvements in these domains in the EBP group from pre to post training and over a period of three months (p < 0.05) compared with the waitlist control group. Thirty seven (37) physical therapists completed their activity diaries over three months. Behavior significantly improved in the EBP group in terms of EBP behaviors (formulating PICO, searching, appraising and applying the evidence) when faced with both new/unique and usual case scenarios (p < 0.05). More physical therapists in the waitlist control group significantly performed non-EBP behaviors (asking doctors and reading textbooks) when faced with new/unique cases compared with the EBP group (p < 0.05). No differences were noted between groups regarding non-EBP behaviors (asking colleagues and doctors and reading textbooks) particularly when faced with usual cases.


The contextually designed EBP training program for Filipino physical therapists was effective in improving knowledge, skills and attitudes to EBP from pre to post training. Improvements were also observed at three months post training in knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior to EBP. This model of training can be modified as needed based on the needs of the local context. Findings need to be interpreted with caution due to study limitations.

Current controlled trials

ISRCTN74485061 (Registration date: February 9, 2011).

EBP; Training; Physical therapists; Developing country; Knowledge; Skills; Attitudes; Behavior