The initiative to develop an international society to represent the interests of the physical therapy profession in areas related to EPA began during a small informal meeting at the 13th International WCPT Congress held in Yokohama, Japan, in 1999. At the 15th International WCPT Congress (2007) held in Vancouver, a Focused Symposium (presented by Ah-Cheng Goh, Luther Kloth, David Baxter and Val Robertson) and a Network Meeting (chaired by Ah-Cheng Goh) provided the opportunity to examine the present status of EPA with regards to clinical practice, education and research. The general consensus was that in order for EPA to remain relevant in today’s evidence-based practice environment, major changes are needed in the way we practice, in how we teach present and future users of EPA, and in the way we approach the evidence to justify its continued usage. There was also general consensus amongst those present that going about this in isolation may not be the best way to move EPA forwards. Discussions during the meetings focused on the need to form an International EPA Society, and also on exploring and proposing various models for bringing about these changes.
On 8th and 9th February 2009, the inaugural ISEAPT Congress was held in Las Vegas, USA. The congress was jointly sponsored by the APTA Sections on Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management, and the Geriatric Section.
In June 2011, at the WCPT congress in Amsterdam, ISEAPT was formally recognized as an official subgroup of WCPT.
The objectives of the Society are to:
- Be maintained as a subgroup of WCPT in accordance with the WCPT Articles of Association.
- Encourage high standards of physical therapy education and practice in particular those of relevance to the Society by promoting (but not limited to) the potential benefits, contributions and limitations of EPAs in the evaluation, treatment and prevention of impairments and functional limitations.
- To advocate the adoption of a common terminology and encourage communication and exchange of information including electronic, print and personal exchanges and organisation of international EPA conferences/congresses for physical therapists and other users of EPA.
- Encourage scientific research (clinical, non-clinical) and advocate clinical practice guidelines, educational curriculum guidelines and safety standards consistent with the promotion of evidence based physical therapy practice in areas relevant to EPA.
- Encourage the development of national organisations of physical therapists that share the objectives of the Society, and to coordinate, liaise and cooperate with other clinical interest groups within WCPT and other external organisations.
- Support WCPT in representing physical therapy internationally in all matters related to the practice, education and research of EPA.
- Engage in all necessary activities to further the best interests of WCPT.