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EDITORIAL
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3

Direction of literature creation for Indian Physiotherapy


Editor in Chief, Department of Physiotherapy, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab - 147 002, India

Date of Web Publication18-Aug-2017

Correspondence Address:
Akhoury Gourang Kumar Sinha
Department of Physiotherapy, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab - 147 002
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/PJIAP.PJIAP_19_17

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How to cite this article:
Sinha AG. Direction of literature creation for Indian Physiotherapy. Physiother - J Indian Assoc Physiother 2017;11:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Sinha AG. Direction of literature creation for Indian Physiotherapy. Physiother - J Indian Assoc Physiother [serial online] 2017 [cited 2017 Sep 24];11:1-3. Available from: http://www.pjiap.org/text.asp?2017/11/1/1/213276



The value of a profession in any given society is directly proportion to its intellectual contribution toward solving the problems of the society. Creation of knowledge is one of the important jobs of professionals. Scientific literature is the vehicle through which the knowledge is disseminated. Therefore, literature creation through research and documentation is important for continued growth of any profession.

Research is an attempt to solve the problem by asking focused questions and selecting appropriate research design to satisfy inquisitiveness. The problems and challenges of Indian physiotherapy community are unique. Information on several issues related to physiotherapy education and practice in Indian context are not available in the existing literature that further compounds the situation. It is important to address these challenges through organized qualitative and quantitative research.

Physiotherapy remains an unregulated profession in India even after 70 years of existence, and wider presence across the country in the health-care sector is one such important issue that needs to be highlighted. While it is reassuring that even without any statutory regulation the professionals of physiotherapy in India have created a place for themselves, it is important to realize that lack of statuary mechanisms related to regulation, standardization and advancement of practice, and education of this profession is acting as a major barrier in providing the quality physiotherapy services to the millions of needy population of the country. As a matter of fact, the country is witnessing a situation where there exist a large number of people who require quality physiotherapy services and also there exist a large a large number of qualified service providers but both are not beneficial to each other for want of policy and procedure.[1] More than the practitioners of the profession, this state directly affects the client group.

We need documentary material for sensitization of policymakers toward the growing importance of physiotherapy and urgency of establishing a statutory mechanism. Analytical literature on the socioeconomic milieu surrounding practitioners and clients of the profession is also needed to sensitize the policymakers of this country. The condition in which a physiotherapist is forced to practice in far-flung areas and even with the perimeter of advanced institutions needs to be highlighted through scholarly literature. This kind of literature is required to impress upon the policymakers of the country to change their perception.

There is unanimity within the profession about the urgent need of statutory regulatory mechanism, but there exist divergent views on its structure and composition. While the formation of independent central physiotherapy council has remained the main demand of Indian association of physiotherapists, the changing sociopolitical situation does compel many professionals to subscribe to the need of inclusion of physiotherapy in the imminent or existing overarching statutory framework. It is important that these divergent viewpoints are thoroughly analyzed at length through scholarly literature to derive a concurrence.

The physiotherapy research in India has so far shown an inclination toward the approaches that seek to establish the effectiveness of specific treatment techniques. The use of patients reported outcome measures is very common in such research designs. Many of the popularly used measures are not in Indian languages. In Indian context, it is important that these measures are transformed into local language version to retain their unique psychometric properties. There is a need to develop context specific tools and outcome measures to capture the unique problems of Indian populations as this would be the first step toward generating higher level evidences.

The emergence of evidence-based practice in the past two decades has placed the emphasis on the designs considered to generate a higher level of evidence such as randomized controlled clinical trial (RCT) and meta-analysis of RCTs. However, it is important to realize that while RCT is the gold standard to confirm new and/or current interventions and practices, they do not help in discovering more effective and efficient interventions/practices.[2] Nevertheless, the enquiry into the efficacy of many newly introduced but poorly supported treatment methods should continue, and considering the paucity of strong evidence on most of our methods, this would continue to remain the major area of research.

However, this does not lessen the importance of a variety of observational studies ranging from case studies, case series to higher level retrospective and prospective cohort studies. These studies provide a strong theoretical basis for the practice. As a matter of fact, observational studies of a wide variety of interventions provided in real-world clinical practice to a wide variety of patients are more likely to provide the impetus for discoveries.[2] In this context, the need of qualitative studies on variety of issues affecting the practice and education of professionals cannot be overemphasized. This kind of literature looks beyond the numbers and contribute to delineate the magnitude and impact of problem and generate new hypothesis that can be tested in further quantitative designs.

Research and literary outcome of a profession depend on the facilities and competence of its members. The task of competence building requires a substantial amount of secondary literature. Research methodology is now included in the curriculum of bachelor and master degree program. However, very few centers in India are equipped with state of the art research facilities. It is important that these centers engage in developing reliable and valid field and clinical test procedures for the benefit of those who do not have access to these higher facilities. Equally important is the task of sharpening the writing and reporting skills of the eminent researchers. There is a need to inculcate the skill of writing a proposal for grants so that the professional is able to derive benefits for numerous schemes of government and nongovernment agencies for generating funds for research and capacity building.

In a pleural society like ours, it is not only important to convince ourselves about the effectiveness of our methods and approach rather it is equally important to communicate this to nonprofessional population for changing their perception. This calls for generation of tertiary literature. In research, these issues of perception may be addressed by undertaking knowledge, attitude, and practice studies.

Creation of knowledge is important but equally important is its effective dissemination. Physiotherapy the Jounral of Indian Association of Physiotherapists (PJIAP) now offers an open-access platform which seeks to showcase the features of Indian physiotherapy before a larger national and international audience. It intends to provide Indian physiotherapy community, a forum to share their research, ideas, and viewpoints in a transparent manner. This should encourage the researchers, academicians, clinicians, and students of physiotherapy toward undertaking the task of literature creation.

This is the first issue of PJIAP on electronic open access platform though the journal has been in publication on and off since 1970. We dedicate this issue to the memories of Dr. M. G. Mokashi - the first editor of this journal.[3] His contribution to the Indian physiotherapy profession as clinician, academician, researcher, writer, administrator, leader, and above all a great human being would continue to inspire the Indian physiotherapy professionals. PJIP pays a rich tribute to the departed soul.



 
  References Top

1.
Sinha AG. Problems and Prospects of Physiotherapy Education in India. Vol. 46. University News; 2008. p. 5-11. ISSN 05662257.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Horn SD, DeJong G, Deutscher D. Practice-based evidence research in rehabilitation: An alternative to randomized controlled trials and traditional observational studies. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2012;93 8 Suppl:S127-37.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Mokashi MG. Milestones of physiotherapy in India: Some reflections. In: Sinha AG, Kumar M, Singh S, editors. Physiotherapy in Health Care: Need and the Reality. Publication Bureau Punjabi University, Patiala; 2012. p. 12-28.  Back to cited text no. 3
    




 

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