Rehabilitation strategies of Flemish physical therapists before and after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: An online survey.

Affiliation

Dingenen B(1), Billiet B(2), De Baets L(2), Bellemans J(3), Truijen J(3), Gokeler A(4).
Author information:
(1)Reval Rehabilitation Research Centre, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Reval Rehabilitation Research Centre, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium.
(3)Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, Genk, Belgium; Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium.
(4)Exercise Science & Neuroscience, Department Exercise & Health, Faculty of Science, Paderborn University, Paderborn, Germany; Amsterdam Collaboration on Health & Safety in Sports, Department of Public and Occupational Health and Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam University Medical Centres, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of the study was to investigate rehabilitation strategies of Flemish physical therapists before and after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Secondly, we aimed to investigate physical therapists' preferences on continuing education and evaluate their self-rated confidence and competence when treating patients before and after ACL reconstruction. DESIGN: Survey-based study. SETTING: Online survey platform. PARTICIPANTS: Flemish physical therapists (n = 283). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The online survey consisted of a combination of 40 open- and closed-ended questions, divided across 5 sections: (1) participant demographics and clinical practice information, (2) patient population information, (3) continued education practices, (4) rehabilitation strategies, and (5) physical therapist self-rated confidence and competence to treat patients with ACL reconstruction. RESULTS: A wide variability in rehabilitation strategies were found across the whole ACL rehabilitation continuum, which were in general not in line with best available evidence. Nevertheless, the overall self-rated confidence and competence of physical therapists treating patients before and after ACL reconstruction were high. CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate a need to improve rehabilitation practices before and after ACL reconstruction. Advanced research dissemination and implementation are required to achieve better rehabilitation outcomes.