To develop successful psychologically informed physical therapy
(PiPT) education programs, it is important to understand what makes them effective. We contend that successful transmission of PiPT concepts from the physical therapist (PT) to the patient is critical for good outcomes. This paper aims to determine whether PiPT trained PTs successfully transfer core concepts of this approach to patients with musculoskeletal injuries
(MSIs). We hypothesize that patients who receive PiPT learn more PiPT concepts than patients who receive usual care. We demonstrated successful adoption of the PiPT model by US Navy PTs in a previous paper. In this paper, we ask whether these concepts are successfully transferred to the patient. Musculoskeletal injuries
are a burden to the US Navy in terms of sick calls and attrition. Therefore, active duty service members (ADSM) are an excellent population in which to study this question.
All ADSM deployed aboard 2 US Navy aircraft carriers (1 with PiPT trained PTs and 1 without) who presented to the physical therapy clinic with MSIs were included. Subjects were asked to list the most important thing(s) they learned in physical therapy at 4 weeks after treatment. Three blinded raters reviewed each response for PiPT concepts. The responses of subjects in both groups were compared to determine whether there were differences in the types of messages they received from treatment.
Eighty-five intervention and 90 control subjects participated. The number of subjects expressing important concepts learned from their physical therapy reflecting PiPT concepts was 29 (34%) in the intervention group and 0 (0%) in the control group.
Subjects who received PiPT were more likely to report learning PiPT concepts than those who did not. This indicates that the transfer of PiPT knowledge from the PT to the patient was successful. This paper is limited; in that, subjects included only ADSM, and the generalizability of the findings is unknown.