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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 348014, 7 pages
Research Article

Physical Therapists in Primary Care Are Interested in High Quality Evidence Regarding Efficacy of Therapeutic Ultrasound for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Provincial Survey

1School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, IAHS 403, 1400 Main Street W, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 1C7
2Departments of Anesthesia and Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, McMaster University, Health Sciences Centre, Room 2V9, 1280 Main Street W, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1
3Department of Surgery, McMaster University, 293 Wellington Street N, Suite 110, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8L 8E7

Received 31 March 2013; Accepted 20 May 2013

Academic Editors: S. Ruta and E. R. Soriano

Copyright © 2013 Norma J. MacIntyre et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent high-level evidence favours therapeutic ultrasound (US) for reducing pain in people with knee osteoarthritis (OA). It is unknown how current practice patterns align with current evidence regarding US efficacy and whether physical therapists perceive a need for further high-level evidence. We conducted a descriptive electronic survey to characterize the beliefs and use of US among physical therapists in Ontario treating people with nonsurgical knee OA. Most of the 123 respondents (81%) reported at least some use of US with 45% using it often or sometimes. The main goal for using US was to reduce pain in the surrounding soft tissue ( ) and/or the knee joint ( ). Almost half (46%) endorsed the belief that US is likely to be beneficial for clients with nonsurgical knee OA. Most respondents (85%) expressed interest in the results of a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of US on pain and physical function. Patterns of use reflect the respondents’ belief that US is likely to be beneficial for knee OA pain.