Background:

To investigate the efficacy of targeted education on clinical decision-making in accredited exercise physiologists.

Methods:

Fifty accredited exercise physiologists undertook a 4-hour targeted education session aimed to demonstrate why the biopsychosocial model is better suited to the management of chronic low back pain than the biomedical model. The pain attitudes and beliefs scale for physiotherapists and patient vignettes were collected before and after the targeted education to observe changes in beliefs and clinical decision-making.

Results:

A significant reduction in biomedical beliefs (P < 0.01) with no concomitant change in biopsychosocial beliefs was observed following the targeted education. Clinical decision-making significantly altered on all 8 items associated with the patient vignettes following the targeted education.

Conclusion:

Following targeted education, a reduction in biomedical beliefs with no concomitant change to biopsychosocial beliefs significantly altered clinical decision-making. The findings of this study support existing literature and demonstrate changes in attitudes and beliefs following education impact clinical decision-making in accredited exercise physiologists. Education interventions should focus on informing practitioners of the benefits of the biopsychosocial model as compared to the biomedical model for management of chronic low back pain rather than simply teaching biopsychosocial theory and application.

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