Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceived Barriers Towards Evidence-based Practice Among Government Sector Physiotherapists in Sri Lanka
Introduction: Implementing evidence-based practice (EBP) is beneficial for the patients as they can receive the best available treatment while improving the reputation of the profession. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and perceived barriers towards EBP among physiotherapists serving in Sri Lankan government hospitals. Method: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted using a convenient sampling method among 264 physiotherapists in thirty-nine government hospitals in Sri Lanka between 18th November 2019 and 23rd December 2019. A pre-tested, validated, and self-administered questionnaire with twenty-six items was categorized into four main parts. These included demographic data of the participants (seven items), their knowledge (six items), attitudes (five items), and perceived barriers towards EBP (eight items). The responses under attitudes and knowledge sections were scored using a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 0-4, with higher scores indicating favourable results. Based on the sum of marks obtained for the attitude part, subjects were categorized as; negative (0-7), neutral (8-15), and positive (16-24) attitudes. Based on the sum of the marks obtained for the knowledge part, subjects were categorized as; poor (0-6), average (7-13), and good (14-20) knowledge. Data analysis was done using the statistical software Minitab version 2018. Results: Among the participants, 1.5% had a poor level of knowledge, 22.7% had an average level of knowledge, and 75.8% had good knowledge regarding EBP. Attitudes toward EBP were positive among 87.9% of participants while 11.7% had neutral attitudes, and 0.4% had negative attitudes. The common perceived barriers to practice EBP were, lack of time, research skills, information resources, and interest towards EBP. Conclusion: A selected sample of government physiotherapists in Sri Lanka had positive attitudes and good knowledge towards EBP and are inclined to incorporate evidence into their clinical practice.
Keywords: Evidence-based practice, Physiotherapists, Knowledge, Attitudes, Barriers, Implementation