Making Evidence look like Art-Applying Psychologically Informed Care for better outcomes while being perceived as having the midas touch


The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate how the art of physical therapy can be evaluated for it's core components and operationally defined in a way that can be replicated by even novice clinicans, using psycholgically informed care as a model.

Methods and/or Description of Project

The "art" of physical therapy has been touted as the key secret ingredient to clinical success. Just as paintings and sculpture can be understood and anaylyzed in order to teach the skills to the next generation, so too can the essential components of physical therapy care often considered the "art" be operationally defined and prepared for consumption by students and novice clinicians alike. Psychologically informed care includes the components of patient interaction that engender cooperation, collaborative decision making and addresses challenges and behaviors unique to those at risk for less successful outcomes. Matched interventions can address those challenges when paired with patients at risk. The systematic approach to the skills are a way to take the "art" out of the equation- leaving the science.


The talk will outline how "art" can be translated to "science" to be universally applied in matched patient care.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education

The term "art" is over applied in the description of physical therapy. Therapists can be taught at the entry level, skills that once were believed to be the individual "art" contribution of therapists with excellent outcomes. The model of psychologically informed care will be used to demonstrate how art can be broken down into teachable and learnable skills. Entry level therapists can graduated as "scientists who look like artists" and we need more of these in the field.


Michael K. Nicholas, Steven Z. George; Psychologically Informed Interventions for Low Back Pain: An Update for Physical Therapists. Phys Ther 2011; 91 (5): 765-776. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20100278

Mary O'Keeffe, Helen Purtill, Norelee Kennedy, Mairead Conneely, John Hurley, Peter O'Sullivan, Wim Dankaerts, Kieran O'Sullivan, Comparative Effectiveness of Conservative Interventions for Nonspecific Chronic Spinal Pain: Physical, Behavioral/Psychologically Informed, or Combined? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, The Journal of Pain, Volume 17, Issue 7, July 2016, Pages 755-774, ISSN 1526-5900,

H. Bray, G.L. Moseley Disrupted working body schema of the trunk in people with back pain Br J Sports Med, 45 (2011), pp. 168–173

A. Engers, P. Jellema, M. Wensing, D. Van der Windt, R. Grol, M.W. van Tulder Individual patient education for low back pain Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1) (2008)

N.E. Foster, J.C. Hill, E.M. Hay Subgrouping patients with low back pain in primary care: Are we getting any better at it? Man Ther, 16 (2011), pp. 3–8

A.M. Hall, P.H. Ferreira, C.G. Maher, J. Latimer, M.L. Ferreira The influence of the therapist-patient relationship on treatment outcome in physical rehabilitation: A systematic review Phys Ther, 90 (2010), pp. 1099–1110

Course Objectives

The participant will..
1. Identify how complex interpersonal skills can be broken down to be taught at the entry level- training an "artist"
2. Recognize the role of screening and subclassifying in matching patients with the care they need- the "artistic expertise"
3. Understand the key components of psychologically informed care and how they represent the many complex skills that can be considered "art' instead of "science"

Instructional Methods

Lecure followed by continuous large group discussion
Final Q and A

Tentative Outline/Schedule

1. Introduction to Psychologically Informed Care and it's perception as "art"
2. Risk stratification in Psychologically Informed Care- "art meets science"
3. Key components of Psychologically Informed Care- "art defined"
4. Educational strategies to teach components of Psychologically Informed Care- "creating an artist"
5. Matching Interventions to patient subgroups- "the artistic flourish"
6. Patient Outcomes in Psychologically Informed Care- "the masterpiece"
7. Final Q and A

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  • Control #: 2740029
  • Type: Educational Session
  • Event/Year: ELC2017
  • Authors: Tara Manal
  • Keywords:

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