PainScience.com • Good advice for aches, pains & injuries

Usage Patterns and Beliefs about Therapeutic Ultrasound by Canadian Physical Therapists: An Exploratory Population-Based Cross-Sectional Survey

updated

Tags: debunkery, devices, physical therapy, treatment, manual therapy

One article on PainSci cites Armijo-Olivo 2013: Does Ultrasound Therapy Work?

PainSci notes on Armijo-Olivo 2013:

This 2013 Canadian survey of the usage of ultrasound found that “despite the questionable effectiveness of therapeutic US, physical therapists still commonly use this treatment modality, largely because of a belief that US is clinically useful. However, US usage has decreased over the past 15 years.”

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

PURPOSE: To explore the frequency and patterns of ultrasound (US) usage among physical therapists, to describe the most common purposes for using therapeutic US, and to investigate beliefs about therapeutic US.

METHODS: A survey was sent to 95% of physical therapists licensed to practise in the province of Alberta, Canada.

RESULTS: Of 2,269 physical therapists to whom email invitations were sent, 438 (19.3%) provided full responses. Results indicate that US is still frequently incorporated into treatment regimens and is widely believed to be effective; however, the study also found a decrease in US usage over the past 15 years. While physical therapists recognize the lack of evidence for the effectiveness of US, many consider it clinically useful. Physical therapists using US rely largely on their clinical experience when making decisions about its use, but this depends on level of education: clinicians with an MScPT degree tended to base more of their US decisions on research evidence, likely because of the increasing emphasis on research evidence in graduate education.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the questionable effectiveness of therapeutic US, physical therapists still commonly use this treatment modality, largely because of a belief that US is clinically useful. However, US usage has decreased over the past 15 years.

related content

This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: