Author ORCID Identifier

Lily Ann D. Bautista: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4170-3864

Regina Bautista: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3407-410X

Andrei J. Altavas: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0490-0458

Leanna D. Bautista: https://orcid.org/0009-0007-7576-8830


Introduction: Physical therapy interns of Silliman University reported limited exposure to the application of joint mobilization techniques during their clinical internship training program. The study aimed to determine whether joint mobilization is utilized in physical therapy internships, including the barriers and challenges affecting its use. The study described (1) the interns' self-reported knowledge and awareness of the benefits, principles, type, and indications of joint mobilization, (2) the use of joint mobilization with regards to practice settings and locations, (3) the interns' self-assessment of competency to perform joint mobilization techniques after graduation, and (4) the barriers to increased utilization during clinical practice.

Methods: Data were collected from PT graduates of cohorts 2018, 2019, and 2020 to gather information relevant to the study's objectives, and 96 responded to the survey. Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, and thematic methods were used to calculate and analyze the results.

Results: The study showed that most interns understood and reported knowledge of the principles, benefits, types, and indications of joint mobilization. It was found that most joint mobilization techniques were applied in the outpatient setting compared to inpatient and home health settings during the physical therapy internship. Additionally, its utilization was high in Manila, followed by Negros Oriental, Bacolod, and the lowest in Cebu. The results showed that self-reported competencies were under entry-level expectations upon graduation, with the greatest competency on the shoulder and the least on the spine. Lastly, barriers to application suggested limited exposure of interns to perform the techniques due to the lack of physician orders. Other reasons included lack of opportunity to apply techniques, lack of clinical instructor guidance, low self-confidence, lack of practice opportunities before internship, and the belief that certification is needed to perform joint mobilization.

Discussion: The data suggested that although interns understand the principles, benefits, types, and indications of joint mobilization, variation in internship experience, lack of self-reported competencies, and limitations in its utilization due to barriers exist.