Therapeutic ultrasound: Clinician usage and perception of efficacy

Lucy S. Chipchase, Dorothea Trinkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


A mailed questionnaire, employing both open- and closed-ended questions, was distributed to all members of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (South Australian branch) registering an interest in the musculoskeletal field. Questions were asked regarding the usage and perception of the effectiveness of therapeutic ultrasound. A response rate of 55% was achieved, with a total of 210 questionnaires available for statistical analysis. The results demonstrated that ultrasound is frequently used as an electrotherapy modality by South Australian musculoskeletal physiotherapists. Most physiotherapists perceived ultrasound to be effective in treating localized, superficial conditions, especially when used in conjunction with other treatment techniques and at suitable dosages. However, ultrasound was thought to be most effective in producing a placebo effect. These findings suggest that ultrasound is perceived as an effective treatment tool when applied appropriately. Its placebo quality may contribute to its effectiveness. Further scientific research is warranted to confirm the results. Randomized controlled trials investigating ultrasound's usefulness for muscle strains, scar tissue, bursitis and tendinitis are indicated. The results of this study will be useful for educators and researchers, and suggest that more research into ultrasound applied as part of a treatment package is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalHong Kong Physiotherapy Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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