Evidence based practice: clinical experiences of recent Doctor of Physical Therapy graduates
Palaima, Mary Margaret
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This study examined how recent Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) graduates, trained in Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) principles and practices during their professional academic program, implement EBP in their clinical settings. This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews to explore the experiences of recent DPT graduates and their mentors, reviewed EBP-related documents and analyzed interviewee self-assessments of EBP skills. Interviewees (N=18) included twelve recent DPT graduates and six mentors. Data analysis included open coding of interview transcripts to identify emerging themes, axial coding of patterns and relationships between themes and content expert review. A major finding was the interrelationship between organizational factors (culture, structural supports) and the roles the graduates assumed in their clinical settings, which suggest that organizational culture (values) and structure (e.g. roles, responsibilities and resources) shape the clinical practice environment and influence how the DPT graduates implement EBP in their practice. The findings also suggest that DPT graduates practicing EBP may influence the culture and structure of the clinical setting, which has implications for academics and managers in physical therapy practice settings.
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