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Determinants of PROMs with patients with neck, back, shoulder and knee complaints

Influences of patients’, therapists and practice’s factors on treatment results by physical therapists
Publication date: 01 September 2015

This project focuses on the quality of physical therapists’ primary care. For this, Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) are being used; validated questionnaires that can be used in treatment by physical therapists.



To measure physical therapy treatment results with PROMs, patients have to fill in several questionnaires at the beginning and at the end of treatment. Patients give their opinion on different aspects of their health, without any influence by physical therapists or anyone else.

Existing knowledge tells that by collecting PROM-records on a systematic basis, outcomes can tell something about the quality of treatment in physical therapy. But results may depend on different influential factors that could lead to a better or worse treatment result. For example comorbidity of the patient, psychological well-being of the patient or positioning of the practice. In this project, researchers look at the influence of all these factors on treatment results measured with PROMs. 

Project description

This doctoral study aims to provide insight on different factors on patients, therapists and practice levels that can influence treatment results measured with PROMs. This will be examined on patients with back, neck, shoulder or knee complaints.

Researchers are aiming to put together a group of 2.000 adult clients within a year, who are being treated in about ten different physical therapy practices. There are three measuring points: at the start of treatment, at the end of treatment and six months after treatment has ended. Clients have access to questionnaires at these three moments through their electronic patient record, after they admitted to participate. The electronic patient record is used for automatic data collection. 

Connection to education

This research project is being executed in close collaboration with physical therapy practices in the area of Rotterdam. Their interns are assisting in doing research. Minor students and graduating students are also involved.

The knowledge gathered from this project will directly be used in the curriculum of the RUAS bachelor’s Physical Therapy programme, because a lot of new data about some of the most common issues in physical therapy will become available.

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