The use of elastic therapeutic tape in clinical practice : an exploration of current usage and the evidence base within healthcare professionals

Henderson, Sarah Louise

Sports sciences
June 2016

Thesis or dissertation

© 2016 Sarah Louise Henderson. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Aim: The central aim of this study is to explore the current use of elastic therapeutic tape (ETT), the views of the evidence base within healthcare professionals and investi-gate the reasoning behind its use in clinical practise despite the lack of conclusive evidence.

Method: Six participants piloted the online survey which then went live between 13th October 2014 and 13th December 2014 via Survey Monkey. Active clinicians were recruited via their professional bodies with a link to the survey. To gain further insight, following piloting, interviews took place with six ETT trained and six untrained active clinicians varying in clinical backgrounds.

Results: One hundred and twenty two respondents attempted the survey via the Survey Monkey link, seventy six participants (62.3%) were disqualified from data analysis, fifty nine (77.6%) of these due to the individuals not completing the full twenty one questions. ETT was utilised more in conjunction with athletic taping (n = 29) than ETT alone (n = 17). Results showed the most common population group clinicians worked in was musculoskeletal (n = 23). The majority of clinicians predominate aim of the tape for their primary and secondary population group was injury rehabilitation (n = 15; n = 7), and for their tertiary population was pain reduction (n = 8). Interviews highlighted two main overarching themes, efficacy of ETT and ETT within clinical practice; with the overall conclusion supporting the findings from the online survey of clinicians utilising practice based evidence as opposed to evidence based practice (EBP).

Conclusion: Despite the lack of conclusive evidence, ETT is utilised within clinical practice, although often in conjunction with athletic taping. Furthermore, it can be concluded that clinicians are often using practice based evidence rather than evidence based practice when it comes to defending their application of ETT.

Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, The University of Hull
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