An international core capability framework for physiotherapists delivering telephone-based care

Luke Davies, Rana S. Hinman, Trevor Russell, Belinda Lawford, Kim Bennell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Question: What are the core capabilities that physiotherapists need in order to deliver quality telephone-based care? Design: Three-round modified e-Delphi survey. Participants: An international Delphi panel comprising experts in the field, including consumers, physiotherapy researchers, physiotherapy clinicians and representatives of physiotherapy organisations. Methods: A modified e-Delphi survey was conducted. A draft framework was adapted from a previously developed core capability framework for physiotherapists delivering care via videoconferencing. The panel considered the draft framework of 39 individual capabilities across six domains. Over three rounds, panellists rated their agreement (via Likert or 0-to-10 numerical rating scales) on whether each capability was essential (core) for physiotherapists to deliver telephone-based care. Capabilities achieving consensus, defined as 75% of the panel rating the item at least 7 out of 10 in Round 3, were retained. Results: Seventy-one panellists from 17 countries participated in Round 1, with retention of 89% in Round 2 and 82% in Round 3. The final framework comprised 44 capabilities across six domains: compliance (n = 7 capabilities); patient privacy and confidentiality (n = 4); patient safety (n = 7); telehealth delivery (n = 9); assessment and diagnosis (n = 7); and care planning and management (n = 10). Conclusion: This framework outlines the core capabilities that physiotherapists need to provide telephone-based care. It can help inform content of physiotherapy curricula and professional development initiatives in telehealth delivery and provide guidance for physiotherapists providing care over the telephone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physiotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Physical Therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine
  • Telephone

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