Physiotherapy Research International

Cover image for Vol. 21 Issue 1

Edited By: Dr. Geert. Verheyden

Online ISSN: 1471-2865

Author Guidelines

1. General

Effective with the 2014 volume, Physiotherapy Research International will be published in an online-only format. No printed edition will be published. All normal author benefits and services remain in place e.g. authors will continue to be able to order print reprints of articles if required. Furthermore, there will be no cost to authors for the publication of colour images in the online-only edition.

All submissions to the journal must be submitted at Full instructions and support are available on the site and a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. If you require assistance the click the Get Help Now link which appears at the top right of every page. If you cannot submit online, please contact Gill Arbane ( in the Editorial Office.

2. Content

Physiotherapy Research International welcomes scholarly papers including original research reports related to physiotherapy and other relevant professions. To expedite the reviewing process all manuscripts are all subject to a screening process by one of the Deputy Editors. Those judged to be of sufficient interest and methodologically robust will be reviewed by at least two experienced independent referees. Priority will be given to clinically relevant papers. The Editorial Board is committed to publishing excellent research and will consider the following types of papers:

 Clinical Trials
 Qualitative studies
 Observational studies
 Articles on methodological and statistical topics
 Systematic reviews
 Narrative reviews
 Case reports

The following types of studies are not normally accepted:

 Reliability and validity studies using healthy subjects
 Studies involving animals
 Pilot studies
 Clinical decision making reports

Submission of a manuscript to Physiotherapy Research International is limited to original work not previously published, nor being considered simultaneously elsewhere for publication. If accepted for publication it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in any language, without the consent of the editor and once published is expected to conform to the usual ethical aspects of investigation and copyright.

Generally the journal will not publish papers which are merely confirmatory of earlier work or that describe relatively minor modifications of existing techniques or methods.

3. Copyright

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper. The corresponding author MUST submit the CTA as it is a requirement for publication.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement
If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen
If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

NIH Public Access Mandate
For those interested in the Wiley Blackwell policy on the NIH Public Access Mandate, please visit our policy statement

4. Presentation

If you require any information about the preparation of your manuscript, please contact

Word Count
PRI operates a strict word count but has made allowances for the different methodological approaches.

Clinical trials: 2,500-3,000
Qualitative studies: 3,500-4,000
Observational studies: 2,500-3,000
Articles on methodological and statistical topics: 2,500-3,000
Systematic reviews: 3,500-4,000
Narrative reviews: 3,500-4,000
Case reports: 1,500-2,500

Title page
The title page should be submitted separately and provide the title, the corresponding author’s name, email address and telephone number, and the names, titles and academic or other affiliations of all authors. No identifying details of the authors or their institutions must appear in the submitted manuscript. Please provide a shortened title to use as a header.

An abstract of no more than 300 words is required on all submissions using the headings: Background and Purpose, Methods [giving design before participants], Results, Discussion. All research papers should consist of an Abstract; Introduction; Methods – to include design, subjects, procedure, ethical considerations; Results/Findings; Discussion (to include a section on limitations). All papers should end with a section on ‘Implications for Physiotherapy Practice’.

Please provide a list of four keywords or fewer. They should be listed alphabetically and on full without any abbreviations. Please ensure keywords are recognised MeSH terms from the master list of standardized Medical Subject Headings

The introduction should justify the aims of the manuscript. Only include references that are essential to the understanding of the aims of the manuscript. Ideally this should be no longer than three to four paragraphs. Use the introduction to clearly define your research question or hypothesis, and justify the rationale for the study and choice of research methodology.

Main body

4.1 Quantitative studies

For clinical trials reporting please refer to guidance in the CONSORT statement:

Study Design
Please provide a brief overview of the tests or experiments used to answer the research question(s). Include the independent variables manipulated, the dependent variables measured and all controls. Indicate the timing of the intervention and measurement. Include the committees that gave ethical approval and any informed consent procedures.
Outline the recruitment procedures and the inclusion and exclusion criteria for their eligibility. Include details of any drop outs or missing data.
Indicate any materials used for the research including their validity and reliability. Provide manufacturer and manufacturers address for any equipment as necessary.
Put as much detail as possible to allow others to evaluate or reproduce the test/experiments. Include outcome measures stating the impairment or activity or limitation or participation restriction being collected and its measurement with units. Mention any power analysis carried out to determine the number of subjects needed for the study. Explain how the research question(s) has been answered by the interpretive results (include details of statistical analysis). Include details of any statistical packages used.

Pertinent results should be reported; results that help answer the question. Present the data in figures or tables within the body of the text. Do not duplicate data in tables and figures. Only report a meaningful number of decimal places. All data reported as means should also be accompanied by the standard deviation (in brackets). When reporting the results of interpretive tests, report the size of the effect rather than its statistical difference. Avoid using abbreviations and reporting overly detailed statistics.

This should initially summarise the main results and answer the research question asked in the introduction, if relevant. Emphasise the new and important aspects of the study. Data already presented in the Method and Results should not be repeated. The length of the Discussion should relate to the number of important findings, usually not less than 750 words.

4.2 Qualitative Studies
Qualitative studies explore complex phenomena and are less appropriate for strict guidance on reporting. However authors are advised to prepare manuscripts with attention to the following headings; Introduction: Method, to include study design (including theoretical framework); setting; sampling and recruitment; data collection, data analysis (whether software was used, data coding, participant checking); research team and reflexivity, ethical considerations. Results/Discussion- can be written together or separately and should include clarity and derivation of major and minor themes and identification of quotes (participant numbers) Authors are encouraged to consult checklists such as COREQ for further guidance:

4.3 Observational studies
Cohort, case control and cross sectional studies will be considered for publication. Authors are encouraged to consult the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) recommendations quality of reporting of observational studies. The STROBE Statement consists of a checklist of 22 items, which relate to the title, abstract, introduction, methods, results and discussion sections of articles. See for more details.

4.4 Articles on methodological and statistical topics should include study objective(s), design, data collection methods and source of subjects with selection methods and justifications. Indicate study procedure, data analysis and statistical methods used with appropriate references. Main results should be presented with confidence intervals. Indicate any study limitations.

4.5 Systematic Reviews
A review of a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyze data from the studies will be considered for publication. Statistical methods (meta-analysis) may or may not be used to analyze and summarize the results of the included studies. If the review finds that there is not enough good quality evidence or the literature is inconclusive, it is unlikely to be published. Authors of systematic reviews are encouraged to consult the PRISMA statement:

4.6 Narrative Reviews
It is always advisable to contact the Editor in Chief before submitting a Narrative review. The selection of the papers reviewed depends more or less on the experience and attitude of the authors. However the selection criteria should be clearly defined and strictly followed. A narrative review may or may not have a structured Abstract; often an unstructured Abstract may be most relevant followed by at least 4 key words for indexing. In the Introduction a survey of relevant literature and the aim and goal for the review should be presented. The headlines in the review have to be chosen according to the need of that particular review. There is usually no Method section. The Discussion section could be structured along the lines for an original report being aware to discuss the limitation and its clinical message.

4.7 Case Studies
Single case studies that make a contribution to proof of concept for a clinical intervention will be considered. The scope of the study should be justified with singular or multiple reports. The report must be systematic in process and collect multiple forms of data relevant to the report(s) and provide an avenue to express systematic trial of a new intervention. However, case reports should not draw conclusions about the effects of an intervention. To be accepted they should be of broad interest and should be more than just citing a case scenario to illustrate or justify opinion.

The Acknowledgments section details special thanks, personal assistance, and dedications. Contributions from individuals who do not qualify for authorship should also be acknowledged here. These should be grouped into one paragraph placed after the authorship.

The Harvard style of referencing should be used. Bibliographical references in the text should quote the author's name (to a maximum of two authors) and date of publication, and be arranged in chronological order thus: (Adams and Barker 2002 )and (Roger,Darfour et al. 2002). To distinguish between two or more works by the same author(s) in each year, append suffixes a, b, etc. All, and only those, references cited in the text must be included in the 'References' section. The abbreviation 'et al' should not be used in the Reference list, where all names should be in alphabetical order by author's surname; multiple works by the same author should be listed in chronological order. In all cases, please provide: (1) all authors' surnames and initials; (2) the full title of the article (if published in a journal) or of the chapter (if published in a book); (3) the full title of the journal or book; (4) in the case of journals: the year of publication, the volume number and page numbers of the journal (giving full page range); (5) in the case of books: the name and domicile of the publisher, the year of publication, and the page numbers (if referring to a chapter in a book). Examples are given below of the form that the references should take:
Mayston M. Problem solving in neurological physiotherapy- Setting the Scene. in Susan Edwards (Ed) Neurological Physiotherapy. Churchill Livingstone Edinburgh 2002; 3-20. Redfern,J. Ellis, E. Holmes W. Feedback withdrawal and changing compliance during manual hyperinflation. Physiotherapy Research International 2002 7.2 59-84.
Language and spelling: all papers should be submitted in English (with American spelling where applicable).

Tables and Figures and Illustrations
Tables (numbered in Arabic numerals) and diagrams or illustrations (also numbered in Arabic numerals) should be submitted separately from the main body of the text. For the reproduction of illustrations, only good line drawings or original photographs (black and white, not colour) can be accepted; negatives or photocopies cannot be used.

5. Ethical Considerations

Ethical Approval
Authors should always state that the study was approved by the relevant research ethics committee or institutional review board. Manuscripts must be accompanied by a statement that any experiments on participants were undertaken with the understanding and appropriate informed consent.

Patients' consent and permission to publish
Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in your paper. Where there is an unavoidable risk of breach of privacy - eg, in a clinical photograph or in case details - the patient's written consent, or that of the next of kin, to publication must be obtained. We will ask you to send a signed consent form before publication. Consent must be obtained for all Case Reports and Clinical Pictures.

Editors reserve the right to reject papers if there is doubt whether appropriate procedures have been followed. If a paper has been submitted from a country where there is no ethics committee, institutional review board, or similar review and approval, editors use their own experience to judge whether the paper should be published. If the decision is made to publish a paper under these circumstances a short statement should be included to explain the situation.

Physiotherapy Research International conforms to uniform guidance from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors:

• Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
• When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript (3). These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Other members of the group should be listed in the Acknowledgments. The NLM indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being directly responsible for the manuscript; it also lists the names of collaborators if they are listed in Acknowledgments.
• Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.
• All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
• Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

6. Review Process

Authors will be notified within one month where the screening process identifies manuscripts appropriate for peer referral.

Once the comments are received from the reviewers these will be referred to the author when they will either be asked to make amendments as recommended or the paper is not considered suitable and will be rejected but comments will be given to enable the author to possibly take the paper forward for consideration by another journal.

When a paper is resubmitted authors are required to provide a detailed response to all points made by referees in a separate document. The amended paper will normally be reviewed again by one reviewer and designated Deputy Editor before a recommendation is made to the EIC to publish the paper.

7. Production

Once the paper has been through all reviewing processes it will be submitted to the publishers.

When your paper has been accepted, it will be typeset and proofs will be sent to you for final scrutiny. Changes are expensive at this stage, and you are requested to keep these to an absolute minimum.

After proofs have been checked and corrections returned the paper will become available on line on Early View prior to appearing in an issue.

Author Services
Free access to the final PDF offprint of your article will be available via Author Services: Please therefore sign up for Author Services if you would like to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits the service offers, such as Article Tracking, E-mail Publication Alerts and Customized Research Tools.