Physical Therapists and Safe Patient Handling and Mobility in States with and without Legislation



A gap exists in understanding the diffusion of safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) within physical therapist (PT) practice and the way in which legislation and advocacy efforts might influence diffusion. The purpose of this research was to describe and compare knowledge and use of SPHM equipment and practices by PTs in Washington, California, and Oregon, as these 3 states have varying legislation and advocacy efforts influencing diffusion of SPHM. A cross-sectional survey design was used to collect data from 2,472 randomly selected licensed PTs in these states, resulting in an overall response rate of 15.3%. Minimal demographic differences existed between respondents in the 3 states. Likewise, respondents were similar regarding their SPHM familiarity, training, use, and perceptions. Therapists expressed confidence in use of SPHM; 45% reported facility SPHM policies. State legislation and advocacy efforts may have minimal effects on knowledge and use of SPHM among PTs. Further research into effective strategies for diffusion of SPHM among physical therapists is needed.

Rockefeller K, Weaver J

Keywords: physical therapy, safe patient handling and mobility, legislation

One time download – from September 2016 issue