NeuroGroup, Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil; Center of Health Sciences, Discipline of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES), Vitória, ES, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]
BACKGROUND : Although evidence-based practice has been widely used by physical therapists, data variation suggests that its implementation may be influenced by a number of factors. Population-specific information is required to help enhance the use of research in clinical practice. OBJECTIVE : To identify the personal and organizational characteristics associated with the use of evidence-based practice by physical therapists providing services to people with stroke in Brazil. METHODS : A cross-sectional mail survey was conducted. The Brazilian versions of the questionnaires "Practitioner and Organizational Barriers to Evidence-based Stroke Rehabilitation" and "Evidence-based practice self-efficacy scale" were mailed to physical therapists. Logistic regression analysis was used to explore associations between personal and organizational characteristics with education, attitudes, believes, interest, and perceived role, perceived support, and organizational resources for evidence-based practice. RESULTS : The response rate was 36% (n=94). Ten characteristics explained 57% of the variance associated with attitudes and believes, and interest and perceived role for evidence-based practice. Nine characteristics explained 50% of the variance associated with perceived support and organizational resources for evidence-based practice. The mostly frequently cited barrier was lack of time (62%). CONCLUSIONS : Although participants had positive attitudes regarding evidence-based practice, there is a need to develop a supportive organizational infrastructure, in addition to enhancing skills of the evidence-based practitioner, to increase research integration in physical therapy practice for assessing and treating people with stroke. Potential strategies should include use of evidence-based practice during undergraduate programs, partnership with professional practice-oriented organizations, and investments to enable research-related activities.