Preparedness of new graduate Australian physiotherapists in the use of electrophysical agents

Chipchase, L. S., Williams, M. T. and Robertson, V. J. (2008) Preparedness of new graduate Australian physiotherapists in the use of electrophysical agents. Physiotherapy, 94 4: 274-280. doi:10.1016/

Author Chipchase, L. S.
Williams, M. T.
Robertson, V. J.
Title Preparedness of new graduate Australian physiotherapists in the use of electrophysical agents
Journal name Physiotherapy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0031-9406
Publication date 2008-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/
Volume 94
Issue 4
Start page 274
End page 280
Total pages 7
Place of publication London
Publisher Elsevier for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Language eng
Subject 11 Medical and Health Sciences
110317 Physiotherapy
Formatted abstract
To determine the perceptions of physiotherapists concerning the preparedness of new graduates to use electrophysical agents (EPAs) in clinical practice.


An observational cross-sectional questionnaire was developed and demonstrated to be reliable and valid.


The questionnaire was mailed to all registered physiotherapists in Australia in 2005 (n = 12,893).


In total, 3538 questionnaires were returned complete. Two forms of non-responder analysis indicated that the sample and their associated responses were representative of the Australian physiotherapy population. Eight out of 10 new graduates felt prepared to use EPAs that are common in Australian clinical practice. However, 80% felt underprepared to use a range of other EPAs. Similar trends were found when new graduate preparedness was examined from the perspective of physiotherapists who were working with or mentoring new graduates. However, experienced physiotherapists rated preparedness lower than the new graduates themselves (χ2 = 525.7, P < 0.01).


These findings raise questions about the adequacy of entry-level education and the level of competence expected of new graduates for the safe and effective application of a range of EPAs upon entry to the workforce. The findings indicate the need for clearer guidelines on the levels of competency expected of new graduate physiotherapists in Australia.
Keyword Electrophysical agents
New graduate
Registration house officer
Clinical skills
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Thu, 12 Nov 2009, 08:45:25 EST