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Facilitating writing for publication

Murray, R. and Newton, M. (2008) Facilitating writing for publication. Physiotherapy, 94 (1). pp. 29-34. ISSN 0031-9406

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In order to develop physiotherapy practice and interventions, it is essential that both service development and research be brought into the public domain. Writing for publication requires a high level of writing skills, and clinicians facing competing demands for their time need strategies for productive writing. These skills and strategies are not always developed in undergraduate or postgraduate courses. This study assessed a writing for publication course for allied health professionals. It explored the writing skills and strategies that participants developed during the course. It also assessed whether these skills and strategies were sustained in clinical workplaces after the course. Clinical professionals, including physiotherapists, who had attended the 6-month course were identified. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 of the 14 participants (four males, 10 females), including six physiotherapists. The results show that course participants reported a range of benefits, which included improved skills and increased confidence. They also increased their published output. However, participants also identified the need for ongoing support. This paper identifies the main issues in establishing writing for publication as part of the allied health professional role.