Proceedings from the 5th European Congress on Physiotherapy Education organised by the Europe Region of World Physiotherapy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



The demand for robust research evidence on which to base physiotherapypractice is critical to the profession. Barriers to embedding research inpractice include organizational culture; lack of time; and difficulty inevaluating and interpreting published research (Scurlock-Evans et al., 2014).Traditionally, Physiotherapy programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levelshave had some success in producing research output; however, time constraintswithin a busy curriculum have meant that the students’ research skills have notbeen fully exploited. Furthermore, confidence in applying research skills inpractice is often lacking.

Partially due to financial pressures the engagement of qualifiedclinicians in doctoral study (Prof D, PhD) remains relatively low. The currentand future challenge remains to embed research skills in practice and generatesa research culture within the wider body of the profession.


Using a partnership approach with relevant stakeholders, aco-production methodology was used to conceptualize, design, develop andimplement a DPT program that fully integrates research skills training withprofessional development.

Results & Discussion

The first DPT program in the UK that confers eligibility for stateregistration for license to practice and Chartered Society Physiotherapychartered status was approved at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, UK.This program integrates research, taught and practice-based elements across theprogram. The curriculum balances training for researcher development as well asprofessional development. This presentation will provide reflections on thelesson learned and the challenges in designing, developing and implementing thecurriculum.

Through innovative assessment and teaching methods, DPT studentsdevelop the required competencies, not only in relation to their owndevelopment as researchers, but also within the context of workforcetransformation in response to changing population, patient and service needs.


The process of designing and developing a DPT program is challenging,e.g. fitting in the statutory 1,000 practice-learning hours whilst ensuring theacademic credibility of doctoral education. Success factors included the use ofa clear conceptual model in defining the scope of the program and an approachthat includes the future needs of the profession. To build research capacityand make an impact on practice, strong networks are needed between allstakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-51
Number of pages51
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Issue numbersup1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2021
Event5th European Congress of the Europe Region World Physiotherapy - Education - 2020 - Online - Online
Duration: 11 Sep 202011 Sep 2020 (Link to conference website)


  • curriculum
  • DPT
  • physiotherapy
  • doctorate in physiotherapy
  • program development
  • curriculum design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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