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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-30

Evidence base for physiotherapy/physical therapy: A specialty-based quantitative trend analysis of articles

1 Department of Physiotherapy, Kasturba Medical College (Manipal University), Mangalore, India
2 Department of Physiotherapy, Srinivas College of Physiotherapy, Pandeshwar, Mangalore, India
3 Department of Orthopaedics, Kasturba Medical College (Manipal University), Mangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Senthil Paramasivam Kumar
Department of Physiotherapy, Kasturba Medical College (Manipal University), Mangalore - 575 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-0521.112627

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Background: Physiotherapy or Physical therapy (PT) grew as an allied health professional specialty originally under the field of Medicine, but later took its evolution as a paramedical service - both individually and as part of Rehabilitation. Objective of Study: To quantitatively explore the existing evidence base for physiotherapy/physical therapy in PubMed through review and analysis of current scientific literature. Materials and Methods: Descriptive exploratory study through a literature search was done to identify nine time-points in the timeline from 1970-2010, with five-year intervals to identify the scientific trend. The number of obtained citations were classified and analyzed under the names of search filters of PubMed namely - text availability, publication date, species, article type, language, gender, subject areas, journal categories, and age groups. The numbers for categories and subcategories of search filters were considered for comparison and analysis. Descriptive analysis using frequencies on Microsoft Excel 2010 worksheet was done. Results: There is an exponential increase in number of articles in general over the 40 years. There was more number of 'abstract available' articles. Human studies were more than animal studies. There was more number of clinical trials and randomized controlled trials among the article types. More articles were of English language, with nearly equal gender representation. There were more number of articles on complementary medicine, and MEDLINE journals had more articles, with more in adult and middle-age for study populations. Conclusion: This study provided information on current state of evidence for physiotherapy/physical therapy in a 40-year trend. This trend was similar to overall trend for all articles indexed in PubMed.

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