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Brazilian Physical Therapists’ Perception and Attitude About Sleep


Sleep is crucial for a variety of conditions treated by physical therapists (PTs), including pain modulation, tissue healing, neurologic and cardiorespiratory health, cognitive function, learning and memory. PTs have an imperative role in wellness and health-promoting, mobility, and independence, in a broad range of diseases and conditions across the lifespan.


To evaluate the attitudes and perceptions of Brazilian PTs about sleep, PT sleep education, the assessment and education of patients about sleep to determine the need for Brazilian PTs to be educated and to have knowledge about sleep medicine in the graduation curricula.


This study was a cross-sectional survey of PTs from Brazil. An electronic survey applied in Kansas University was translated and send to Brazilian PTs via snowball sampling procedure. Descriptive analyses and logistic regressions were conducted. This study was conducted in accordance with the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (#0363/2020), and Kansas University Medical Center institutional review board after approval.


224 responses were achieved. PTs agreed that sleep is associated with the impaired function (75.9%) and that addressing sleep issues may impact PT outcomes (77.2%). Most respondents think that PTs should inform their patients about sleep issues (71.9%). The majority of PTs did not receive education about sleep during entry-level PT education (63.8%) and have not received education about sleep following completion of their entry-level PT education (51.8%). One-third of PTs were routinely assessing their patient’s sleep habits (42.9%) or sleep quality (35.3%), asking subjective information on anamnesis (2.7%), administering sleep questionnaires (34.4%), or objective information such as polysomnography (1.8%) and actigraphy (0.4%). Most respondents (80%) think PT should receive education about sleep.


PTs acknowledge that patients’ sleep should be assessed within PTs scope of practice and that sleep impacts rehabilitation outcomes. However, PTs have not received education about sleep, although the majority thought PTs should receive education about sleep. Therefore, entry-level PT education programs may consider incorporating education about sleep, and the development of continuing education courses in Brazil is needed.


sleep, physical therapy, rehabilitation, education.


Área Clínica


Kansas University - - Estados Unidos, Universidade Federal de São Paulo - São Paulo - Brasil


Cristina Frange, Fernando Morgadinho Santos Coelho, Catherine Siengsukon