Physiotherapy Practice and Research

The Official Journal of The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists

Impact Factor


44, 2 issues

Latest issue

44:2 online 15 December 2023

Next issue

45:1 scheduled for June 2024

Back volumes

From volume 30, 2009

ISSN print


ISSN online


Aims & Scope

Physiotherapy Practice and Research is the Official Journal of The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. It is an international, peer-reviewed journal which aims to advance physiotherapy practice and research through scholarly publication. The journal has a clinical focus and publishes material that will improve the evidence base for physiotherapy and assist physiotherapists in the management of their patients. Contemporary physiotherapy practice incorporates a diverse range of activity and the journal aims to support physiotherapists, and publish material, from all areas of practice, be that the clinical setting, education, research or management.

Physiotherapy Practice and Research welcomes submissions in the form of original research papers, critical reviews (systematic or state-of-the-art papers), case studies, editorials, expert commentaries and book reviews. Letters to the editor are also welcome. The journal will commission focused or clinical reviews in areas of interest; those planning such reviews should contact the editor in the first instance. It also aims to foster research capacity within the profession and as such supports and encourages submission from new researchers.

Physiotherapy Practice and Research is a member of and subscribes to the principles of COPE, the Committee on Publication Ethics.


Editorial Board


Dr. Orlagh O'Shea
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
123 St Stephens Green, Dublin 2


Dr. Jonathan Moran
Physiotherapy Department, Hospital 4
Saint James's Hospital/Trinity College

James's Street, Dublin 8


Past Editor

Dr. Joseph G. McVeigh

Editorial Assistants

Emer McGowan, PhD
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin, Ireland

Máirín Carroll

Associate Editors

Dr. Susan Coote
University of Limerick
Limerick, Ireland

Dr. Brona Fullen
University College Dublin

Dr. Kieran O'Sullivan
University of Limerick

Statistical Consultant

Dr. Conor Gissane
St Mary's University College
London, UK

Book Review Editor

Dr. Karen McCreesh
University of Limerick
Limerick, Ireland

Editorial Board

Prof. Juanita J. Anders
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Bethesda, MD, USA

Prof. Jeffrey R. Basford
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN, 

Prof. G. David Baxter
University of Otago
New Zealand

Dr. Marianne Beninato
MGH Institute of Health Professions
Boston, MA, 

Dr. Dina Brooks
University of Toronto

Prof. Jefferson R. Cardoso
State University of Londrina

Dr. Daniel B. Carr
Tufts University School of Medicine
Boston, MA, 

Prof. Chad Cook
Walsh University
North Canton, OH, 

Dr. Garrett Coughlan
IRFU Medical Department

Dr. Lucy Chipchase
The University of Queensland

Prof. Wim Dankaerts
University of Leuven

Dr. Eamonn Delahunt
University College Dublin

Dr. Catherine Doody
University College Dublin
Dublin, Ireland

Dr. Kjartan Fersum
University of Bergen

Dr. Diarmaid Fitzgerald
Central Remedial Clinic

Dr. G. Kelley Fitzgerald
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA, 

Dr. Frances Horgan
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Prof. Mike Hurley
St George's, University of London and Kingston University

Prof. Jennifer Jelsma
University of Cape Town
Cape Town, 
South Africa

Prof. Gail M. Jensen
Creighton University
Omaha, NE, 

Mark Jones
University of South Australia

Prof. Gwendolen Jull
The University of Queensland

Dr. Daniel P. Kerr
Ulster University

Prof. Nigel Lawes
University of Limerick

Prof. Dr. phil. Hannu Luomajoki
ZHAW School of Health Professions

Prof. Dennis Martin
Teesside University

Prof. Hugh McKenna
Ulster University

Dr. Daniel Pinto
Northwestern University
Chicago, IL, 

Dr. Borja Sañudo
University of Seville

Prof. James Selfe
University of Central Lancashire

Dr. Paul Slater
Ulster University
Newtownabbey, UK

Dr. Daniel Tik-Pui Fong
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Dr. Heli Valkeinen
National Institute for Health and Welfare
Helsinki, Finland

Prof.  Bill Vicenzino
The University of Queensland

Dr. Craig Wassinger
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN, 

Prof. Paul J. Watson
University of Leicester

Dr. Alexis Wright
High Point University
High Point, NC, USA

Prof. Ahmed Younis
St George's, University of London and Kingston University

Author Guidelines

Physiotherapy Practice and Research welcomes submissions in the form of original research papers, critical reviews (systematic or state-of-the-art papers), case studies, editorials, expert commentaries and book reviews. Letters to the editor are also welcome. The journal will commission focused or clinical reviews in areas of interest; those planning reviews should contact the editor in the first instance. Physiotherapy Practice and Research also aims to foster research capacity within the profession and as such supports and encourages submission from new researchers.

Please read these instructions carefully as any manuscripts not complying with these guidelines will be sent back to the authors for revisions prior to any review being undertaken.


By submitting my article to this journal, I agree to the Author Copyright Agreement, the IOS Press Ethics Policy, and the IOS Press Privacy Policy.

Authors are requested to submit their manuscript electronically to the journal’s editorial management system. The manuscript should be uploaded as one file with tables and figures included at the end. Note that the submitted files must be editable (e.g., MS word).

Publication fee
Physiotherapy Practice and Research does not charge a publication fee.

General formatting
All submissions must have a title and an abstract, be on A4 paper with numbered pages, be double-line spaced and have a margin of 2.5cm all around. Lines must also be numbered continuously throughout the text. The body of text must not exceed 12 pt font. Illustrations, figures and tables should be placed at the end of the paper (after the references) and not inserted into text. All articles should be written in UK English.

Title page
The title page should carry the following information:

  • Article title (should be concise, clear and descriptive, usually with no more than 15 words)
  • Author(s) name(s) without abbreviation
  • Author(s) institutional affiliation(s): department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed, city, country
  • Contact information for corresponding author: name, affiliation, address, telephone and e-mail address of the corresponding author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript
  • A word count for the text only (excluding abstract, acknowledgments, figure legends, and references).
  • Keywords (up to five)

Any author included in the author list should have contributed significantly to the paper, and no person who has made a significant contribution should be omitted from the list of authors. Please read the IOS Press authorship policy for further information.

The abstract should follow the title page, maximum word length 250 words. The abstract should provide the context or background for the study and should state the study’s purpose, basic methods, main results, and principal conclusions. It should emphasize new and important aspects of the study or observations. The abstract for research papers should follow the structured abstract format. Headings should be in bold uppercase letters followed by a colon.


Manuscripts are usually (but not necessarily) divided into the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Manuscripts should be approximately 3500–4500 words. Manuscripts longer than this should be discussed with the Editor prior to submission.

The introduction should provide the context or background for the study. State the specific aim or research objective of the study or observation. The introduction should not include data or conclusions from the work being reported.

The Methods section should give the methodological framework of the study. The methods should allow a clear appreciation of how the study was done. Describe your selection of participants including inclusion and exclusion criteria. Identify the methods, apparatus (give the manufacturer’s name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow others to reproduce the results. Authors submitting review manuscripts should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data. These methods should also be summarized in the abstract. Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. Specify the computer software used.

Results should be presented in a logical sequence in the text, tables, and figures. The most important finding or main findings should be presented first. Do not repeat all the data in the tables or figures in the text; emphasize or summarize only the most important observations. Please indicate in text where tables and figures should be inserted using, for example ‘Insert Table 1 here’.

Tables and figures should be included at the end of the manuscript after the references.

The discussion should emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat results in detail or other information given in the introduction. For experimental studies, it is useful to begin the discussion by summarizing briefly the main findings, then explore possible mechanisms or explanations for these findings, compare and contrast the results with other relevant studies, state the limitations of the study, and explore the implications of the findings for future research and for clinical practice.

This section should contain all acknowledgments, including any funding source to the research. Please supply all funding details required by your funding and grant-awarding bodies.
If there are no acknowledgments or funding, then please state "The authors have no acknowledgments".

Conflict of interest
Authors should provide a conflict of interest statement. If here is no conflict, then please state “The authors have no conflict of interest to report.”

Ethical considerations
Studies involving experimental subjects must comply with the IOS Press Use of Experimental Subjects Policy.

Experimental subjects
Experiments involving human subjects must conform with the Declaration of Helsinki and be approved by a local Institutional Review Board. Compliance with the former and approval by the latter, including the approval number, MUST be provided in the Methods section or in a separate section at the end of the article.

When experimental animals are used, the Methods section must briefly but explicitly state measures that were taken to minimize pain or discomfort, e.g., type and dose of anesthetic used. Experiments should be carried out in accordance with the European Communities Council Directive of 24 November 1986 (86/609/EEC) or the Guidelines by the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare regarding the care and use of animals for experimental procedures.

All studies using human or animal subjects should include an explicit statement in the Materials and Methods section identifying the review and approval committee for each study. Editors reserve the right to reject papers if there is doubt whether appropriate procedures have been used.

Informed consent
Participants have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent.
Identifying information, including participants' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the participant (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a participant who is identifiable should be shown the manuscript before it is published.
When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the Methods section.

Supplementary data
If there is an online dataset associated with the paper, you are welcome to provide information about where the data supporting the results or analyses presented in the paper can be found. Where applicable, this should include the hyperlink, DOI, or other identifier associated with the dataset(s).

In accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, Physiotherapy Practice and Research uses the Vancouver referencing style.

A consecutive number is allocated to each reference when it is first cited in a manuscript. Place citations as numbers in square brackets in the text, punctuation should be after the square brackets. Where more than one reference is used, numbers are separated by commas and consecutive numbers are joined with a hyphen e.g. [1,2,3-5]. All publications cited in the text should be presented in a list of references at the end of the manuscript using the numerical order in which they are cited in text. Only articles published or accepted for publication should be listed in the reference list. Submitted articles can be listed as (author(s), unpublished data). If an article has a DOI, this should be provided after the page number details. The number is added after the letters 'doi'. Manuscripts will not be considered if they do not conform to the Vancouver citation guidelines.

Reference examples listed in Vancouver style:

Journal articles
[1] McVeigh JG, McGaughey H, Hall M, Kane P. The effectiveness of hydrotherapy in the management of fibromyalgia syndrome: a systematic review. Rheumatol Int. 2008;29:119-30. doi: 10.1007/s00296-008-0674-9

[2] Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002; 935(12): 406. doi: 10.1016/S0006-8993(02)02471-X

[3] Main C, Sullivan M, Watson P. Pain Management 2nd ed. London: Churchill Livingstone; 2007.

[4] Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.

Book chapter
[5] Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGrawHill; 2002. p. 93113.

[6] Canadian Cancer Society [homepage on the Internet]. Toronto: The Society; 2006 [updated 2006 May 12; cited 2006 Oct 17]. Available from:

Note: Month and issue number are omitted from the reference. The titles of Journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in the list of Journals Indexed for MEDLINE, posted by the NLM on the library’s website.

Tables & Figures
Tables should be numbered as Table 1, Table 2, etc. All tables must be referred to in the text. Each table should be provided on a separate page of the manuscript. Tables should not be included in the text. Each table should have a brief and self-explanatory title. Column headings should be brief, but sufficiently explanatory. Standard abbreviations of units of measurement should be included in parentheses. Vertical lines should not be used to separate columns’ instead leave some extra space between the columns. Any explanations essential to the understanding of the table should be given in brief footnotes at the bottom of the table.

Number figures as Fig. 1, Fig 2, etc. and refer to all of them in the text. Each figure should be provided on a separate sheet. Figures should not be included in the text. Each figure should have a self-explanatory caption.

The online version has no extra charges for color figures. Color figures can be included in the print version, provided the cost of their reproduction is paid for by the author (more information in the “purchases” section).

For the file formats of the figures please take the following into account:

  • line art should be have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi, save as EPS or TIFF
  • grayscales (including photos) should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (no lettering), or 500 dpi (when there is lettering); save as tiff
  • do not save figures as JPEG, this format may lose information in the process
  • do not use figures taken from the Internet, the resolution will be too low for printing
  • do not use color in your figures if they are to be printed in black & white, as this will reduce the print quality (note that in software often the default is color, you should change the settings)
  • for figures that should be printed in color, please send a CMYK encoded EPS or TIFF
  • figures should be designed with the format of the page of the journal in mind. They should be of such a size as to allow a reduction of 50%. Photographs should have good contrast and intensity.

It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that permission is received from the copyright holder for the reproduction of illustrations before submission. This should also be submitted with the manuscript.

Copyright of your article
Authors submitting a manuscript do so on the understanding that they have read and agreed to the terms of the IOS Press Author Copyright Agreement.

Article sharing
Authors of journal articles are permitted to self-archive and share their work through institutional repositories, personal websites, and preprint servers. Authors have the right to use excerpts of their article in other works written by the authors themselves, provided that the original work is properly cited. The consent for sharing an article, in whole or in part, depends on the version of the article that is shared, where it is shared, and the copyright license under which the article is published. Please refer to the IOS Press Article Sharing Policy for further information.

Quoting from other publications
Authors, when quoting from someone else's work or when considering reproducing figures or tables from a book or journal article, should make sure that they are not infringing a copyright. Although in general authors may quote from other published works, permission should be obtained from the holder of the copyright if there will be substantial extracts or reproduction of tables, plates, or other figures. If the copyright holder is not the author of the quoted or reproduced material, it is recommended that the permission of the author should also be sought. Material in unpublished letters and manuscripts is also protected and must not be published unless permission has been obtained. Submission of a paper will be interpreted as a statement that the author has obtained all the necessary permission. A suitable acknowledgement of any borrowed material must always be made.


The corresponding author will receive a PDF proof and is asked to check this proof carefully (the publisher will execute a cursory check only). Corrections other than printer's errors, however, should be avoided. Costs arising from such corrections will be charged to the authors.

The corrected proof is published online in the journal’s pre-press module shortly after the proof is created and author corrections are implemented. This is not the final version. As soon as the article is assigned to an issue, the final bibliographic information will be added and the pre-press file will be replaced by the updated, final version. Pre-press articles are fully citable by using their DOI number.

How to order reprints, a PDF file, color figures, journals, or IOS Press books

The corresponding author of a contribution to the journal will receive a complimentary PDF Author’s Copy of the article, unless otherwise stated. This PDF copy is watermarked and for personal use only. A free PDF copy will not be provided for conference proceedings and abstract issues. An order form for a PDF file without watermark, color figures, reprints or additional journal copies will be provided along with the PDF proof.

If you wish to order reprints of an earlier published article, please contact the publisher for a quotation via this contact form.

An author is entitled to 25 % discount on IOS Press books. See Author's discount (25%) on all IOS Press book publications.


Authors of published articles (non-pre-press, final articles) will be contacted by Kudos. Kudos is a service that helps researchers maximize the impact and visibility of their research. It allows authors to enrich their articles with lay metadata, add links to related materials and promote their articles through the Kudos system to a wider public. Authors will receive no more than three emails: one invitation and a maximum of two reminders to register for the service and link the published article to their profile. Using and registering for Kudos remains entirely optional. For more information, please have a look at our authors section.


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Abstracted/Indexed in

Cabell's Guide or Directory
Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) Plus
Google Scholar

SciVerse Scopus
Web of Science: Emerging Sources Citation Index

Open Access

By default, articles published in Physiotherapy Practice and Research are available only to institutions and individuals with access rights. However, the journal offers all authors the option to purchase open access publication for their article as part of the IOS Press Open Library. This means that the final published version will be freely available to anyone worldwide, indefinitely, under a Creative Commons license and without the need to purchase access to the article. This is also referred to as “gold” open access.

Gold open access pricing
Authors who choose gold open access publication will be subject to an article publication charge of € 1500 / US$ 1500 for publication under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license or € 2150 / US$ 2150 for publication under the CC BY 4.0 license. Pricing is exclusive of possible taxes. After an article is accepted for publication, the corresponding author will be informed regarding the open access option during the production stages, and will have the opportunity to purchase open access for their article. It could be that the open access fee of an article is waived completely due an institutional agreement IOS Press has with the corresponding authors' institution. Please check the institutional agreements page for details.

Green open access
Authors who do not make use of the gold open access option may still make their article freely available using self-archiving, also referred to as green open access. Authors may make their final accepted manuscript available for free download from their personal or institutional website or institutional archive. This model is free for the author.

Peer Review Policy

Physiotherapy Practice and Research operates a double-blind peer review policy for all research or scientific papers. This means that the identity of the authors is not known to the reviewers, and the identity of the reviewers is not communicated to the authors. Please visit our reviewer guidelines for further information about how to conduct a review.

All submissions are screened for suitability by the Editors-in-Chief. Papers considered to be of interest to the readership of Physiotherapy Practice and Research and of sufficient quality are sent for peer review by at least two reviewers. Decisions on whether a manuscript is accepted, accepted with revisions, or not suitable for publication in its present form, will be made by the Editors-in-Chief after considering peer reviews.

The authors will be informed of peer reviewers’ comments by Editors-in-Chief, whose decision is final.

In-house submissions are subjected to the peer review process described above. Co-authors who are also members of the Editorial Board are not involved in any way with the peer review process of articles of their (co-)authorship.

Suggested reviewers
Authors may suggest suitable reviewers for their submission. Suggested reviewers must not have co-authored a publication in the last four years or have an active collaboration with submitting authors. You may suggest up to six reviewers. Please note that the editor retains the right to decide whether or not suggested reviewers are used.

Selection of Statistics Papers Now Freely Available

Statistics, one piece at a time

Statistics is a subject that is perhaps best done in small doses. These papers are designed to put a specific topic across in a succinct way. They are long enough to put the main points across and short enough to be revisited by researchers as and when they need to.

Sustainable Development Goals

The content of this journal relates to SDG:

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Visit the SDG page for more information.