Evaluation of the Usefulness of 2 Prediction Models of Clinical Prediction Models in Physical Therapy: A Qualitative Process Evaluation

L. van Oort, A. Verhagen, B.W. Koes, H.C.W. de Vet, J.R. Anema, M.W. Heijmans

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Objective The purposes of this study were to (1) evaluate the usefulness of 2 prediction models by assessing the actual use and advantages/disadvantages of application in daily clinical practice and (2) propose recommendations to enhance their implementation. Methods Physical therapists working in 283 practices in the area of Breda (the Netherlands) were invited to participate in this study. Two prediction models were presented: (1) to predict persistent shoulder pain and (2) to predict the preferable treatment in nonspecific neck pain. Participants were asked to apply both models in practice. After 2 months, their opinions about the usefulness of both models were gathered during a focus group meeting or by using an online questionnaire in order to identify the most important advantages/disadvantages of each prediction model. Results In total, 46 physical therapists (13.8%) of 39 practices participated. Evaluative data were available from 32 participants who used the shoulder model 102 times and the neck model 126 times. For the shoulder model, the most frequent advantage (mentioned 14 times) was that it enabled physical therapists to estimate a motivated prognosis, that is, a prognosis based on the score of the model. The most frequent mentioned disadvantage was that participants expressed their doubts about the validity of the model because the model initially was developed for usage in a general practice setting. For the neck model, the most frequently mentioned advantage (29 times) was that the model was easy to interpret. The most important disadvantage (mentioned 14 times) was that the model only takes a few treatment options into account. Conclusions The physical therapists participating in this study reported that both models evaluated in this study were not easy to use in daily practice. Based on the findings of this study, we recommend that these models are modified to meet the practical needs of the therapist, before assessing their impact on daily clinical care and patient outcomes. © 2014 National University of Health Sciences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-341
JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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