2015 – Perceptions of Evidence-Based Practice: A Survey of Members of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association

Posted:Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ronald J. Kettering, DHSc, MBA; Joan S. Leafman, PhD; Lisa A. Wallace, PhD; Jerrilyn A. Cambron, PhD, DC

Introduction: Massage therapists must have the necessary knowledge and skills to evaluate avail-able research to make effective clinical decisions. However, the extent to which the attitudes of massage therapists towards the value of using evidence in patient care, and their confidence in their ability to implement evidence-based practice (EBP) is lacking in the body of available evi-dence.

Purpose: This study explored the perceptions of the clinical value of EBP among members of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) and their confidence in implementing it in practice.

Methods: Members (n=498) completed a secure online survey related to beliefs and attitudes about EBP and met the research inclusion criteria. This study used univariate non-parametric sta-tistics to analyze demographic and EBP variables.

Results: The findings suggest participants perceived EBP as an important aspect of practicing massage therapy. Statistically significant findings included: Positive belief in the importance of critical appraisals (68.0%, n=259) and belief that EBP can improve patient care outcomes (66.4%, n=253). However, there remains a need among massage therapists to develop confidence in using EBP to optimize clinical outcomes. The belief that EBP is difficult to utilize in clinical practice was significantly negative (93.2%, n=355). Confidence in using evidence to answer clinical questions (52.8%, n=201) and confidence in the ability to overcome EBP implementation barriers (52.0%, n=198) were low.

Conclusion: This study described important EBP and confidence attributes of the population of FSMTA members, and provided important foundational data that can be used to help in the de-velopment of future massage therapy research literacy programs and clinical application policies.

Keywords: evidence-based practice, massage, research, methodology, outcomes, education, training, standards
Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.