The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) advocates that the generation and dissemination of evidence through research is essential to the development of evidence based physical therapy.
WCPT encourages member organisations to do the following.
- Promote and support research that meets ethical requirements and quality standards and ensures appropriate collaboration and dissemination.
Urge their members to follow research standards that ensure the quality of research being conducted and supports research that is ethical, thus promoting confidence in the results of the research. This includes:
- appropriate management and monitoring
- accountability (including financial and reporting)
- confidentiality of data and intellectual property
- ensuring the integrity of the results
- reporting of adverse incidents
- reporting results of the research endeavour, both positive and negative
- Advocate for their members engaged in research to conduct it with the approval of a local/national research ethics review committee. If no such review body exists, then research activities should be conducted in accordance with internationally recognised ethical principles and guidelines.    
- Support and promote collaboration in research endeavours. Collaboration can play a vital role in the success of any research efforts, and the process should include all those who can make a valuable contribution with respect to the initial concept, design, planning, execution, analysis, discussion and dissemination. Increasingly, collaboration within the profession and with other professions or disciplines, as well as with users of services[Note], is a requirement for research funding bodies. Collaboration can take place at the local, national and/or international level.
- Make their members aware of their responsibility to share freely the results of such research through a range of dissemination routes including databases, publication in appropriate professional journals, conference presentations, electronic media and the national press.
- Recognise the role they can play in promoting the evidence to support the practice of physical therapists.
WCPT believes that research in physical therapy should encompass all domains that impact on the practice of physical therapy. These include, but are not limited to:
- basic sciences
- examination, diagnosis, prognosis/plan, and interventions/treatment
- technological advances
- theory development
- service delivery and organisation of service delivery models/systems
- economic analyses (eg cost effectiveness studies)
- implementation sciences
- development of outcome measures
- educational approaches
- social-anthropological studies
- health and social care policy
- patient/client perspectives
- effectiveness of interprofessional practice and multimodal interventions
While not all physical therapists are expected to be active researchers, it is a professional responsibility for all physical therapists to use research findings to inform their practice.
|Approval, review and related policy information|
Approved at the 15th General Meeting of WCPT, June 2003 (replaced Declaration of Principle: Validation of practice techniques and technologies).Edited and re-approved at the 17th General Meeting of WCPT June 2011.
|Date for review:||2015|
|Related WCPT Policies:||
WCPT policy statements:
[Note] The term users is used to refer to patient/clients, patient/client representatives, user organisations, purchasers of services, patient advocacy groups, member organisations or other individuals/bodies relevant to the research subject.