Designing a focus of attention workshop for Canadian physiotheraPIsts


Psychomotor researchers have consistently communicated the benefits of external focus of attention (EFOA) cueing for movement outcomes common in rehabilitation. Despite this, observational studies, and our own research with Canadian physiotherapists, has shown that physiotherapists provide EFOA cues at lower frequencies than internal FOA cues. Further, our research has shown that the main barriers to the effective use of FOA cues are a lack of education and knowledge on the subject, which suggests that FOA research findings have not yet been translated into the physiotherapy field. Thus, the purpose of this research was to gain input from key stakeholders to determine the important considerations for designing a FOA workshop for Canadian physiotherapists. To this end, eight local physiotherapists (M[age] = 35.6 ± 10.8 years; M[experience] = 11.0 ± 9.2 years) participated in virtual one-on-one interviews which included discussion on elements related to workshop design. Data analysis showed that physiotherapists desired a particular flow from didactic communication of FOA research, to instruction and demonstration of EFOA cueing, to small group practice opportunities (e.g., role play). Moreover, a focus group was held with five FOA researchers for input on key content to include within the workshop. Additional FOA researchers and practicing physiotherapists provided essential input in regard to the development of knowledge and skill assessments. All together, stakeholder input, as well as recommendations from Social Cognitive and Adult Learning Theory, led to the development of a workshop which includes both a self-directed asynchronous learning component and a virtual synchronous group practice component.