Physiotherapists deliver management broadly consistent with recommended practice in rotator cuff tendinopathy: An observational study

A. Smythe, J. White, C. Littlewood, J. Bury, T. Haines, P. Malliaras

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Rotator cuff tendinopathy is a common and disabling cause of shoulder pain. While conservative treatment is recommended as initial management, recent findings suggest that general practitioners and rheumatologists do not consistently align with recommended care. This study aimed to survey Australian physiotherapists to explore the extent to which recommended management is being applied. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey. Results: Five hundred and two Australian physiotherapists completed the survey. Results demonstrated the majority of physiotherapists provide conservative management consistent with guideline recommendations, through delivery of exercise and education, comparable to management by physiotherapists in the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands. Parameters and construction of exercise treatment programs were highly variable within the cohort, qualitative analysis highlighting varied reasoning underpinning these management decisions. Conclusions: Australian physiotherapists are broadly consistent with providing recommended management, however heterogeneity exists in the methods and parameters of treatment delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102132
Number of pages9
JournalMusculoskeletal Science and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2020


  • Management
  • Rotator cuff
  • Tendinopathy

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