Physiotherapy, Research and Older People #physiotalk Mon 19th July

The tweetchat on Monday 19th July at 8pm BST is hosted by @AGILECSP

AGILE is a Professional Network of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and is for therapists working with older people – whether qualified physiotherapists, assistants, students or associate members of an allied profession. AGILE’s mission is ‘To deliver the highest possible physiotherapy practice with older people’ by promoting high standards in physiotherapy with older people through education, research and efficient service delivery; providing a supportive environment for its members by facilitating the exchange of ideas and information and encouraging, supporting and co-ordinating relevant activities regionally and nationally

To keep up with the constantly evolving and changing needs of the UK population, the CSP regularly sets research priorities for physiotherapy in health and social care. Advances in health care treatments and systems have a huge impact on physiotherapy provision and, therefore, research priority setting also needs to evolve in line with these advances.

Whilst it is crucial to have robust evidence to support the physiotherapy treatments we use, it is also important to research other aspects of physiotherapy provision including outcomes, delivery of and access to services, long-term management of certain conditions or prevention of health problems. Therefore, in 2018, in conjunction with the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership, the CSP, patients, carers, and physiotherapists decided on these four areas where they felt that research could make a real difference to people receiving physiotherapy:

Physiotherapy treatments


Improving health and preventing disease and injury

How services are accessed and delivered

Consequently, the top ten physiotherapy research priorities were identified and they include questions such as: ·

When health problems are developing, at what point is physiotherapy most/least effective for improving patient results compared to no physiotherapy?

What factors affect this?

When used by physiotherapists, what methods are effective in helping patients to make health changes, engage with treatment, check their progress, or manage their health after discharge?

What are the best ways to deliver physiotherapy services to meet patients’ needs and improve outcomes for patients and services?

All of these questions are applicable to patients of any age, but this evening we hope to explore the experiences of physiotherapists working with older people and what research they have undertaken (both formal and informal) involving older people and what challenges and/or opportunities have arisen from this work. We hope that those in established research roles will share a little about their “journey” into research and offer advice about the different career opportunities in research. And we also want to encourage those who are less involved in research to share their experiences and discuss any specific research skills that they find particularly challenging.

Chat questions

Q1. Have you undertaken any formal or informal research involving older people?

Q2. Have you ever had any issues with engaging or getting older people who are lacking capacity/have cognitive impairment involved in research? How have you overcome these issues?

Q3. Are you confident in critically appraising a research paper and if so, what tools do you use?

Q4. Have you ever tried to write an article for a journal/other and how did it go? If not, why not?

Q5. For those of you in a research role, what was your route or path into your role?


Discovering physiotherapy research priorities that matter to patients, carers and clinicians

Shaping Better practice Through research: A Practitioner’s Framework

Visit the Council for Allied Health Professions Research website for lots of information about AHP research at

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