A new model of knowledge translation for physical therapy clinicians who work in skilled nursing facilities: a case study.

Background & Purpose : Departmental inservices are a method that physical therapists use to acquire new, evidenced-based knowledge, but attendance at an inservice does not always result in knowledge translation (KT) into practice. Knowledge broker (KB) models have been proposed as a method to connect clinicians with the research community and promote KT. The purpose of this case report is to: 1.) describe a new KT partnership between physical therapy clinicians (PTCs) who work in skilled nursing facilities and academia through the use of academic faculty as a KB; and 2.) describe the outcomes of an inserviceÐplus-consultation model on the cliniciansÕ use of gait speed (GS) as an outcome measure.Case Description : A KT intervention was undertaken with PTCs (n=4) at a large, continuing care community where PT services are offered to residents of skilled nursing units and assisted living apartments. Two physical therapists and two physical therapist assistants attended an inservice about measuring and interpreting GS for the older adult. The inservice was given by an academic faculty member who served as a KB, and who provided two additional consultation visits with the PTCs to help them apply the information given at the inservice. The consultation visits included identifying patients appropriate for the measure, designating an area to measure GS, deciding the frequency of measurement, practicing the timing aspect, and designating a section in the documentation for GS data. PTCs collaborated with the KB to design a reference tool for their use after the intervention was completed. PTCs completed knowledge pre and post-tests and a survey about the perceived effectiveness of the KT intervention .Outcomes : Before the intervention, PTCs had moderate knowledge of measurement and interpretation of normal/abnormal values (mean pre-test score = 75%). However, measurement of GS was attempted by only 1 of 4 clinicians in the previous 6 months. PTCs described lack of confidence in measurement skills, no documention requirements, and low-functioning patients as barriers to measuring GS. Knowledge post-test scores improved (mean = 96%). A 5Ðpoint Likert scale was used to rate confidence in measurement skill (pre-intervention mean = 2.3; post intervention mean = 5.0) and overall satisfaction with the educational intervention (mean = 5.0).Discussion : Although PTCs had moderate knowledge of GS measurement and interpretation before the educational intervention, they reported it was rarely measured in practice. The KT intervention resulted in establishment of a collegial working relationship between the PTCs and the academic faculty member. An inserviceÐplus-consultation KT model using an academic faculty member as KB was feasible, effective and well-received among PTCs who work with older adults in a continuing care community. Future plans include exploration of PTC practice patterns by reviewing physical therapy documentation before and after the educational intervention.

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  • Control #: 2024221
  • Type: Platform
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Victoria Hornyak, Jessie VanSwearingen
  • Keywords: knowledge translation|skilled nursing facility|gait speed

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