Does the South African physiotherapy journal fulfill the needs of its constituency? a retrospective article review
Frantz, Jose M.
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Professional journals are used to disseminate the knowledge of scholars in the profession and to provide clinicians with guidance for best practice. This article aimed to retrospectively review the role of the South African Journal of Physiotherapy and its contribution to the profession. An archival research design was used to collect information from the archives of the South African Society of Physiotherapy website. The information was retrieved using a data capture sheet and descriptive statistics were used throughout to establish frequencies for the relevant information. During the identified period, 170 articles were published. The greatest number of papers originated in South Africa (81%), 8% from the rest of Africa and 11% written by international authors. Authors with a Masters degree contributed almost 50% of the papers and those with doctorates were responsible for at least 25% of the papers. Most of the papers presented original research (81%) with secondary research such as reviews and scholarly papers accounting for 19% of the total. The most common speciality area addressed through research was linked to musculoskeletal conditions. The journal appears to have provided an important platform for South African academics and emerging researchers to publish their findings. It is suggested that the journal should give preference to papers that deal with issues that are unique to South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, as these are the least likely to be published elsewhere. In addition, the journal should emphasise papers that will advance the profession.