A Knowledge Translation Framework for Optimizing Physical Therapy in Patients With Heart Failure

Konrad J. Dias, Michael J. Shoemaker, Kristin M. Lefebvre, John D. Heick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The American Physical Therapy Association has supported the development of clinical practice guidelines to promote and support evidence-based practice and reduce unwarranted practice variation. Essential to the success of this effort is the generation of knowledge translation, a concept that emphasizes the translation of global knowledge to an application that can be effectively integrated into clinical practice. The Physical Therapy Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Individuals with Heart Failure published in the Physical Therapy Journal in January 2020 provides a broad base of knowledge related to evidence-based treatment interventions for patients with heart failure. However, the application and integration of this knowledge in clinical practice need further elucidation. Therefore, this perspective paper aims to serve as a complementary knowledge translation resource to the recently published practice guideline to maximize the utilization of contemporary evidence in clinical practice. This resource provides the physical therapist with practical guidance in the management of patients with heart failure by placing research findings in the context of other knowledge and practice norms that can be applied at the point of care and across the continuum of care. We propose a novel ABCDE (assessment, behavior modification, cardiorespiratory fitness, dosage, and education) practical framework. This clinical paradigm is grounded in ongoing physical therapist assessment throughout the episode of care, along with behavior modification, assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness, appropriate selection and dosing of interventions, and patient education. Examples highlighting the use of this model in patients with heart failure across the continuum of care are provided for application in clinical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberpzab079
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Heart Failure
  • Patient Care Management
  • Patient Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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