“Best” Inter-Professional Practice in Healthcare: Bridging the Knowledge Translation Gap in Relation to Non-Communicable Diseases

By Elizabeth Dean, Selma Bruno, Monika Fagevik-Olsen, Gloria Umerah and Marilyn Moffat.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: November 16, 2015 $US5.00

Health professions have a responsibility to support people’s health, not only address their complaints. Although lifestyle behavior change is a priority in the first-line management of many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, cancer, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and obesity; such intervention is not systematically practiced by health professionals. This article describes how the third largest health profession, physical therapy, has been addressing the knowledge translation gap between what is known about the causal/contributing factors of NCDs including smoking, poor diet and physical inactivity, and its systematic effort to effect lifestyle behavior change in patients. Consistent with the Coordinated Implementation Model of knowledge translation, we describe related initiatives of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy and three physical therapy summits on global health that have been targeted across professional levels (i.e., clinical, education, research, professional association, government, and policy consultants). We conclude that the initiatives of the physical therapy profession could be useful to other health professions in supporting inter-professional best health practices including shared health behavior change competencies. Such commitment by health professionals to addressing NCDs could help reduce this socially and economically costly epidemic, deemed by the World Health Organization to be largely preventable.

Keywords: Non-Communicable Diseases, Evidence-Based Practice, Health Lifestyles

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 5, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.121-131. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: November 16, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 672.612KB)).

Prof. Elizabeth Dean

Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Dr. Selma Bruno

Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University Rio Grande Norte, Natal, Rio Grande Norte, Brazil

Dr. Monika Fagevik-Olsen

Clinician Scientist, Sjukgymnastikverksamheten, Sahlgrenska Universitetssjukhuset, Gothenburg, Sweden

Gloria Umerah

Clinician and Assistant Department Head, Physical Therapy Department, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital at Enugu, Enugu, Enugu, Nigeria

Prof. Marilyn Moffat

Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, , President, World Confederation for Physical Therapy, New York University, New York, New York, USA