The main theme for the 50th anniversary conference of IFOMPT is "Crossing bridges" - Crossing bridges between research, clinical practice, education, patients’ perspectives and the needs of society. The many challenges and changes that musculoskeletal physiotherapy are facing, require critical reflection on the future from different perspectives. New practices and ways of thinking are emerging, and may provide reflection on our identity, new roles, refined ways to practice, and new models of care. The 2024 IFOMPT conference will be a key event to discuss, advocate and celebrate the diversity of MSK physiotherapy.
The call for Focused Symposia is open to all aspects of MSK physiotherapy, and diversity in topics is highly encouraged. Proposals for Focused Symposia should be submitted under one of the three conference strands that are described below:
1. Innovative models of care in MSK Physiotherapy
This strand will cover new developments and ideas about crossing bridges between science, practice and patients’ experiences. This will include aspects relating to:
Effective strategies to implement new knowledge into practice
New models of care and innovative frameworks
Different stakeholder’s perspectives to improve quality of MSK physiotherapy
Proposing models of advanced practice and direct access
2. Physiotherapy futures – emerging areas
This strand will explore questions of where we as musculoskeletal and manual physiotherapists come from, where we are today, and where we are going in the future. This will include aspects relating to:
Expertise, characteristics and core features of MSK physiotherapists
New ways of thinking about different challenges in healthcare within higher, middle, and lower-income countries
Our professional contribution for tackling the global burden of MSK diseases
Thinking out of the box and calls for action by our profession
Considerations for the education of next generations of physiotherapists
Leadership, digital health, advocacy, patient and population engagement
3. Expertise in MSK physiotherapy
New developments and cutting-edge topics to underline the expertise of musculoskeletal and manual physiotherapists will be presented in this strand. This will include aspects relating to:
Best available evidence summarised by experts in the field
Diversity of competencies needed by MSK physiotherapists
Bringing together different approaches and experts from different research groups to bridge opposing perspectives – in this regards
Patient's voices and perspectives on their experiences
The Focused Symposia will be a key component of the Conference with the aim of creating an insightful learning experience in relation to MSK physiotherapy. They should promote critical reflection and respectful debate, acknowledging different opinions and perspectives on MSK physiotherapy. We will host a range of different types of Focused Symposia based on the topics:
A. Traditional Focused Symposia
A topical Focused Symposium, chaired by a recognised expert in the field with three to four speakers including the chair. This will ideally include:
A short introduction by the chair;
Three to four presentations (including by the chair);
An interactive discussion/conclusion led by one of the presenters at the end to discuss the main implications;
Time for questions at the end; and
An audience engagement activity – i.e., interactive Q&A, panel session, discussion groups, etc.
B. Active Focused Symposia
A Active Focused Symposium should propose an innovative format that involves active audience participation (e.g., participant group discussions or case studies). A detailed description of the activities that are proposed to be included during the session and how these will be managed should form part of the submission.
C. Debate Style Focused Symposia
A Debate Style Focused Symposium aim to facilitate discussion and debate on a topic where there may be differing and opposing views. The debate can be a specific pro-contra format or be more open to different perspectives and a detailed description on how the debate will be managed should form part of the submission.
Each Focused Symposium will last 90 minutes.
Focused Symposium presenters should include:
Three to four speakers, including a chair;
A combination of presenters from different countries and regions of the world; Note that all the presenters should not be from a single country.
A combination of experienced and early-career researchers, clinicians and/or educators. Note that all presenters should demonstrate recognised expertise in the field and the ability to present to a large audience.
A balanced combination of presenters from a diversity perspective. This includes diversity relating to gender, socio economic status, multidisciplinary focus, different perspectives, etc. It is strongly encouraged to include patient perspectives and voices in the presenting groups, where applicable.
Presentations put forward should be suited to cater for the diverse combination of conference participants, i.e., clinicians, researchers, educators, etc.
All presentations that involve human participants and animal subjects must comply with ethical principles and legislative approval and permissions must be in place.
The chair should submit the Focused Symposium for consideration. All presenters included in the group should have agreed to participate to the Focused Symposium before submission.
Each submission must be made electronically via the IFOMPT 2024 website. The documents can be compiled in Word and copied and pasted into the fields on the website. Note that the online submission form will provide restricted space for data entry. To assist you in preparing your submission, an indication of the available word count is provided.
Submissions must be submitted in English and will need to include the following:
Title of suggested symposium [10 words]
Session type: Traditional or Active or Debate Focused Symposia
Summary of the session format that will be followed or learning activities that will be proposed [250 words]
Relevance of the proposed Focused Symposia to IFOMPT and the expected audience [100 words]
Key words [maximum 5]
Details of all contributors including:
List of chair and all presenters
Full name, organisation/institution, city and country as you would wish it to appear in the completed programme for all presenters
E-mail, work telephone, mailing address for all presenters
A short biography for the chair and each presenter. This should outline academic qualifications, positions/appointments, publication and presentation track record, research information (interests, grants), and professional practice background [Total 250 words each]
Completed abstract body (see below)
Information concerning any presentations or publications of the work made prior to the IFOMPT 2024 [50 words]
Ethical approval for all studies that will be presented
Abstract body /content
A single abstract jointly authored by the chair and all other presenters needs to be submitted per Focused Symposium. The abstract should consist of a maximum of 750 words, and should provide a comprehensive overview of the Symposium and linked presentations. This will be included in the Conference proceedings and should be structured using the following headings:
Learning objectives (up to 3)
Description (this must be evidence based)
References (not included in word count)
All submissions must be submitted electronically here:
The evaluation of the submissions will be made by an expert group appointed by the Conference Scientific Committee. Each paper will be evaluated several times and by different experts. The committee will consider all the submissions in relation to topic and format and may recommend some modifications to individual submissions to fit into the overall program.
With your submission you agree that the Focused Symposium could be recorded and could be published on a virtual platform.
Submitted abstracts will be used for publication.
Participation at the Conference
All participants must register and attend the Conference in person.
A formal consent process will take place after the submission has been accepted.