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ACT voice at IFOMPT 2016

Emma Breheny
26 August 2016

Every four years, a ‘who’s who’ of musculoskeletal physiotherapists gather for the IFOMPT conference, according to Angie Fearon, who presented two focused symposia and a free paper at this year’s gathering in Glasgow.

‘There’s a lot of energy there. The level of presentation is fantastic, the number of high quality researchers present is rare, and there’s lots of experienced clinicians who often ask very pertinent questions and help to shape future research,’ Angie says as she describes the atmosphere of the event.

Her focused symposium on knowledge translation in the area of tendinopathy brought together Karim Khan, editor of British Journal of Sports Medicine, Evert Verhagen, a researcher at Vue University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, and two Canadian physiotherapists, Allison Ezzat and Alison Hoens, who represented a larger team that Angie collaborated with to develop a tendinopathy treatment toolkit for clinicians.

‘We looked at what physios needed and then brought together all the evidence—not just RCTs or systematic reviews—but in fact the best available evidence for the different ways of diagnosing the condition and treating it,’ she explains.

After compiling this evidence, an algorithm was created that allowed physiotherapists to review the evidence relevant to a patient’s pathophysiology and then prescribe the most appropriate treatment for the person in front of them.

At IFOMPT, Angie and her co-presenters outlined three main strategies for knowledge translation, including developing technological tools, like apps or the tendinopathy algorithm; helping clinicians to access research through professional development and research dissemination; and (critically) ensuring that research is funded, published and moved into practice.

‘You have to use a range of strategies and work out which strategy will work best in the local community. What would work in Australia may not work in South Africa, for example,’ Angie explains.

Angie also organised a symposium on gluteal tendinopathy that featured some of the topic’s key researchers of the past 15 years: Alison Grimaldi, Alex Scott and Stephanie Woodley. Their work has shown that lateral hip pain can be related to both the bursa and the tendon. At IFOMPT 2016, Stephanie went over her early and recent work related to the anatomy and physiology, while Angie and Alex discussed diagnostic criteria and Alison focused on treatment.

‘People were sitting on the stairs in that session, so it was really exciting to look out on this sea of really interested faces. ‘One of the exciting things about IFOMPT is meeting other people that are working in a similar or adjunct area and being able to talk to them,’ Angie says.


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