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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice or Microsoft Word format
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • Referencing should comply with the standard APA style (7th edition) or Coventry University Harvard
  • All authors have full names, email addresses, relevant qualifications and affiliations stipulated.
  • Bibliographic and in-text citations conform to the standard APA (7th edition) style or Coventry University Harvard

Author Guidelines

General information

Manuscript categories and word count

Students dissertation projects: 4000-5000 words

Original research/audit using quantitative data – maximum word count 3,000-4000 words

Original research/audit using qualitative data –maximum word count 4000-5000 words

Systematic/Systematised reviews – maximum word count 5,000 words

Narrative reviews – max. 3,000 words

Case reports – max. 2,000 words

Letters to the editors – max. 500 words

Book Reviews-max 1500 words


The Abstract should not exceed 500 words. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract. The abstract must include the following separate sections:

  • Background: the context and purpose of the study
  • Methods: how the study was performed and statistical tests used
  • Results: the main findings
  • Conclusions: brief summary and potential implications


Three to six words representing the main content of the article.

Undergraduate physiotherapy students submissions

We welcome scholarly papers from undergraduate physiotherapy students who have written up their dissertation as a journal article following the CPPE instructions. To expedite the reviewing process all manuscripts are subject to a screening process by one of the Editors as manuscripts would have been assessed and moderated as part of a dissertation module. Those judged to be of sufficient interest and methodologically robust will be published in CPPE. Priority will be given to clinically relevant papers. Generally, the journal will not publish papers that are merely confirmatory of earlier work or that describe relatively minor modifications of existing techniques or methods. Students should discuss the manuscript submission with their supervisor in advance. 

Students can submit:

  • Experimental designs
  • Qualitative studies
  • Systematised or systematic  reviews
  • Narrative reviews
  • Survey studies

Submission of a manuscript is limited to original work not previously published, nor being considered simultaneously elsewhere for publication. If accepted for publication it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in any language, without the consent of the editor and once published is expected to conform to the usual ethical aspects of investigation and copyright.

Your main document file should include:

  • A short informative title containing the major key words. The title should not contain abbreviations
  • The full names of the author and their supervisor with institutional affiliations where the work was conducted
  • Acknowledgements;
  • Abstract structured (background and purpose/methods/results/discussion)
  • Up to four keywords;
  • Main body: formatted as abstract, introduction, methods, results/findings, discussion;
  • References;
  • Tables (each table complete with title and footnotes);
  • Figures: Figure legends must be added beneath each individual image during upload AND as a complete list in the text.

Quantitative studies


-Please provide a brief overview of the tests or experiments used to answer the research question(s). Include the independent variables manipulated, the dependent variables measured and all controls. Indicate the timing of the intervention and measurement. Include the committees that gave ethical approval and any informed consent procedures.
-Outline the recruitment procedures and the inclusion and exclusion criteria for their eligibility. Include details of any drop outs or missing data.
-Indicate any materials used for the research including their validity and reliability. Provide manufacturer and manufacturers address for any equipment as necessary.
-Put as much detail as possible to allow others to evaluate or reproduce the test/experiments. Include outcome measures stating the impairment or activity or limitation or participation restriction being collected and its measurement with units. Mention any power analysis carried out to determine the number of subjects needed for the study.
-Explain how the research question(s) has been answered by the interpretive results (include details of statistical analysis). Include details of any statistical packages used.


Main results should be reported; results that help answer the question. Present the data in figures or tables within the body of the text. Do not duplicate data in tables and figures. Only report a meaningful number of decimal places. All data reported as means should also be accompanied by the standard deviation (in brackets).  Avoid using abbreviations and reporting overly detailed statistics.

This should initially summarise the main results and answer the research question asked in the introduction, if relevant. Emphasise the new and important aspects of the study. Data already presented in the Method and Results should not be repeated. The length of the Discussion should relate to the number of important findings.

Qualitative Studies

Qualitative studies explore complex phenomena and are less appropriate for strict guidance on reporting. However authors are advised to prepare manuscripts with attention to the following headings; Introduction: Method (including study design; setting; sampling and recruitment; data collection, data analysis e.g. software was used, data coding, participant checking; and reflexivity, ethical considerations. Findings (quotes can be added on tables) Discussion- should include clarity and derivation of major and minor themes and identification of quotes (participant numbers).

Survey design should include Introduction with study objective(s), design, Methods including data collection methods and source of subjects with selection methods and justifications. Indicate study procedure, data analysis and statistical methods used with appropriate references. Main results should be presented with confidence intervals. Discussion Indicate any study limitations. 

Systematised Reviews
A review of a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyze data from the studies will be considered for publication.  Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Limitations are appropriate titles to use. In the Introduction a survey of relevant literature and the aim and goal for the review should be presented. Method section. A clear description of the design and methods used is needed. The Discussion section could be structured along the lines for an original report being aware to discuss the limitation and its clinical message.


The Background section should explain the background to the study, its aims, a summary of the existing literature and why this study was necessary or its contribution to the field.

Original research/audit using quantitative data


Briefly review the literature, emphasizing pertinent and relevant findings, methodological issues, and gaps in understanding. Conclude the introduction with a statement of purpose, your research questions, and, where relevant, your hypotheses; clearly explain the rationale for each hypothesis.


Explain your study in enough detail that it could be replicated.

Participants. Clearly state whether there is a population that you would ideally want to generalize to; explain the characteristics of that population. Explain your sampling procedure. If you are using a convenience sample, be sure to say so. Arguments for representativeness can be strengthened by comparing characteristics of the sample with that of the population on a range of variables. Describe the characteristics and size of the sample. When appropriate, describe how participants were assigned to groups.

Measures. Summarize all instruments in terms of both descriptions and measurement properties (i.e., reliability and validity). Provide estimates of the reliability of the scores in your sample in addition to reliability estimates provided by test publishers, other researchers, or both; when you make judgments about performance or when language samples are coded for linguistic characteristics, include estimates of classification dependability or coder agreement.

Procedure. Describe the conditions under which you administered your instruments.

Design: Make clear what type of study you have done–was your study evaluating a priori hypotheses, or was it exploratory in order to generate hypotheses? Explain your design, and state whether your comparisons were within-subjects, between subjects, or both. Refer to standard works such as textbooks for study designs. Describe the methods used to deal with experimenter bias if you collected the data yourself. If you assigned participants to subgroups, explain how you did so. If you used random assignment, tell the readers how the randomization was done (e.g., coin toss, random numbers table, computerized random numbers generation). If you did not use random assignment, explain relevant covariates and the way you measured and adjusted for them, either statistically or by design. Describe the characteristics and size of the subgroups. In place of the terms experimental group and control group, use treatment group and contrast group.

Power and sample size. Provide information on the sample size and the process that led to the decision to use that size. Provide information on the anticipated effect size as you have estimated it from previous research. 


Explain the data collected and their statistical treatment as well as all relevant results in relation to your research questions. Interpretation of results is not appropriate in this section.

When using inferential statistics, provide the descriptive statistics, confidence intervals, and sample sizes for each variable as well as the value of the test statistic, its direction, the degrees of freedom, and the significance level (report the actual p-value).

Always supplement the reporting of an actual p-value with a measure of effect magnitude (e.g., measures of strength of association or measures of effect size). Confidence intervals for the effect magnitudes of principal outcomes are recommended.

If you use multiple statistical analyses (e.g., t-tests, analyses of variance, correlations), make the required adjustments to the alpha level (e.g., a Bonferroni correction).

Avoid inferring causality, particularly in nonrandomized designs or without further experimentation.

Use tables to provide exact values; present all values with two places to the right of the decimal point.

Use figures to convey global effects. Keep figures small in size; include graphic representations of confidence intervals whenever possible.

Always tell the reader what to look for in tables and figures.


Interpretation. Clearly state your findings for each of your research questions and their associated hypotheses. State similarities and differences with effect sizes reported in the literature. Discuss whether features of the methodology and analysis are strong enough to support strong conclusions.

Limitations and Conclusions

Note the weaknesses of your study. Identify the theoretical and practical implications of your study. Discuss limitations and suggest improvements to your study. Provide recommendations for future research that are thoughtful and grounded both in terms of your results and in the literature.


Original research/audit using qualitative data

This section is for academic qualitative articles. In addition to the general instructions, please read  and include the following when appropriate:

Introduction: As per general guidelines

• Summarize the research design and approaches to inquiry 
• Provide the rationale for the design selected.
• Describe the rationale for the decision to halt data collection (
• Provide a rationale for the number of participants chosen.

Participant Selection
• Describe the participants/data sources selection process and inclusion/exclusion criteria.

Data Collection
• State the form of data collected (e.g., interviews, questionnaires, media, observation).
• Describe any alterations of data-collection strategy in response to the evolving findings or the study rationale.
• Describe questions asked in data collection: Content of central questions, a form of questions (e.g., open vs. closed).

• Describe the methods and procedures used and for what purpose/goal.
• Explicate in detail the process of analysis, including some discussion of the procedures 
• Describe the process of arriving at an analytic scheme, if applicable (e.g., if one was developed before or during the analysis or was emergent throughout).
• Provide illustrations and descriptions of their development, if relevant.
• Indicate software, if used.

Discuss Methodological Integrity
• Assess the adequacy of the data in terms of its ability to capture forms of diversity most relevant to the question, research goals, and inquiry approach.
• Describe how the researchers’ perspectives were managed in both the data collection and analysis (e.g., to limit their effect on the data collection, to structure the analysis).
• Demonstrate that findings are grounded in the evidence (e.g., using quotes, excerpts, or descriptions of researchers’ engagement in data collection).
• Demonstrate that the contributions are insightful and meaningful (e.g., in relation to the current literature and the study goal).

• Although findings may or may not include quantified information, depending upon the study’s goals, approach to inquiry, and study characteristics, we encourage authors to include even simple quantified information about the qualitative findings (themes), recognizing that this will assist many readers in understanding the relative importance or frequency of themes.


• Identify the study’s strengths and limitations (e.g., consider how the quality, source, or types of the data or the analytic processes might support or weaken its methodological integrity).
• Describe the limits of the scope of transferability (e.g., what should readers bear in mind when using findings across contexts).
• Consider the implications for future research, policy, or practice.

You may also include Appendix

Systematic/systematised reviews

Systematic Reviews support the complete and transparent reporting of research. The Editors require the submission of a populated checklist and figure from the relevant reporting guidelines, for example, PRISMA checklist and flow diagram or the most appropriate PRISMA extension for variations to the standard systematic reviews methodology. The flow diagram should be included in the main body of the text. Submissions received without these elements will be returned to the authors as incomplete. A Word file of the checklist and flow diagram can be downloaded here.

Please follow the general instructions for submission. 

Narrative reviews

The selection of the papers reviewed depends more or less on the experience and attitude of the authors. However the selection criteria should be clearly defined and strictly followed. In the Introduction a survey of relevant literature and the aim and goal for the review should be presented. The headlines in the review have to be chosen according to the need of that particular review. There is usually a small Method section. The Discussion section could be structured along the lines for an original report being aware to discuss the limitation and its clinical message.

Case Reports

We encourage the publication of original and interesting case reports that contribute significantly to physiotherapy knowledge.

Case reports should include an up-to-date review of all previous cases in the field.

Authors should seek written and signed consent to publish the information from the patients or their guardians prior to submission. Authors will be asked to confirm informed consent was received as part of the submission process. The submitted manuscript must include a statement to this effect in the 'Consent' section, as follows: "Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and accompanying images". The editorial office may request copies of the informed consent documentation upon submission of the manuscript.

Preparing the manuscript

Title page 

The title page should:

  • present a title that includes, if appropriate, the study design e.g.:
  • list the full names and institutional addresses for all authors
  • indicate the corresponding author


The abstract should not exceed 350 words. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract. 

Keywords: Three to six keywords representing the main content of the article.

Background: The Background section should explain the background to the case report or study, its aims, a summary of the existing literature.

Case presentation:This section should include a description of the patient’s relevant demographic details, medical history, symptoms and signs, treatment or intervention, outcomes and any other significant details.

Conclusions: This should state clearly the main conclusions and include an explanation of their relevance or importance to the field.

List of abbreviations: If abbreviations are used in the text they should be defined in the text at first use, and a list of abbreviations should be provided.

Book Reviews

By submitting a book review, you are confirming that the manuscript is your own original work and does not duplicate any other previously published work, including your own previously published work.

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