Background: Evidence-based practice (EBP) is fundamental to the delivery of high-quality, safe and effective health care. Naprapaths, manual therapy providers that specialize in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction, became a Swedish licensed health profession in 1994. This study investigated the attitudes, skills and implementation of EBP among licensed naprapaths in Sweden.
Methods: Licensed naprapaths (n = 950) of Svenska Naprapatförbundet (the Swedish Naprapathy Association) were invited by email to take part in this cross-sectional anonymous online study using the Evidence-Based Practice Attitude and Utilisation Survey in February 2019.
Results: Fourteen percent (137/950) of invited naprapaths completed the survey. There was an approximately equal gender divide among responders; most were in the mid-career age range, practiced in city areas, and had a university or college certificate/diploma as their highest qualification. The majority of naprapaths agreed or strongly agreed that EBP was necessary in the practice of naprapathy, assisted them in making care decisions, and improved the quality of patient care. Naprapaths’ self-reported skills in EBP were mostly in the moderate to moderate-high range. The majority of participating naprapaths reported infrequent implementation of EBP. Perceived minor or moderate barriers to EBP uptake included a lack of colleague support for EBP and a lack of relevant resources. Access to the internet and free online databases were reported as very useful enablers to improving EBP uptake.
Conclusions: The licensed naprapaths participating in this survey reported positive attitudes toward EBP, moderate levels of EBP skills, and infrequent implementation of EBP.
Author keywords: Evidence-based practice - Naprapathy - Health care surveys - Cross-sectional studies - Implementation science
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