Call for Abstracts - Physiotherapy Conference 2020

Call for Abstracts

You are invited to submit an abstract for consideration by the Scientific Programme Committee for presentation at Physiotherapy Conference 2020 to be held in Rotorua 11-13 September 2020.

Abstract submission

Please ensure you read the following information before submitting an abstract.


Submissions close: 31 March 2020

    Conference registration

    The presenting author of an abstract accepted for presentation will be entitled to register for the Conference at the Early Bird rate regardless of the date of registration.

    While the Programme Committee cannot give a guaranteed time of presentation, submitters are asked to indicate any times when they will NOT be available to present.

    The theme for the 2020 Physiotherapy New Zealand Conference is ‘Collaboration’.

    Presentation format

    In the spirit of collaboration, we are keen to use a range of presentation formats within the conference - making space for sharing knowledge, having conversations and encouraging reflective practice.

    Abstracts are invited for the following formats of presentation:

    • Classic Presentation
    • Rapid Five
    • Focused Symposia
    • Fishbowl Conversation

    Further information about these presentation formats can be found below.

    Presentation type

    We invite presentations that are one of the following types:

    • research-based
    • overview innovation in practice, or 
    • provide clinical ‘pearls’


    At the time of submission you will be asked to indicate your preferred presentation format, however the Scientific Programme Committee reserve the right to specify the presentation format to be used, in order to build the best conference programme.

    Classic Presentation

    • Each presenter will be given 10 minutes to present their work followed by 3 minutes Q and A session moderated by a session Chair.

    Rapid Five

    • Each Rapid Five session will consist of six presentations.
    • Each presenter will be allowed 5 slides.
    • Each presenter will be given 5 minutes (1 minute/slide) to present their work.
    • The Q and A session will follow after all six Rapid Five presenters have completed their presentations and will be moderated by a roving session Chair.

    Focused Symposia

    Focused symposia provide a more formal forum where cutting edge topics can be explored and debated, drawing together different research and practice perspectives. Focused symposium chairs and speakers can explore the implications of the latest research and thinking as well as debate controversies and lay the foundations for future interactions and initiatives.

    • Each focused symposia will be chaired by an individual with expertise in the area.
    • Each symposia will last for 1 hour (with the last 15 minutes being left open for questions and discussion with the audience).
    • The Chair is to invite 3-4 additional presenters to provide a series of linked, evidence-based presentations relevant to physiotherapy, with a range of perspectives.


    A fishbowl conversation is a more informal form of dialog that can be used when discussing topics within large groups. Fishbowls are useful for ventilating “hot topics” or sharing ideas or information from a variety of perspectives. Rather than a large group having an open discussion about something (which can be difficult to handle and often only benefits a few active participants) a smaller group sits in a central circle discussing a pre-agreed topic while the rest of the participants sit around the outside and observe without interrupting. One or more chairs in the central circle are open to “visitors” (i.e., members of the audience) who want to ask questions or make comments.

    • Each Fishbowl will be moderated by an individual with expertise in the area.
    • The moderator will invite up to 6 people (with a range of perspectives) to join the ‘central circle’ of the fishbowl.
    • Each Fishbowl will run for 45 minutes.


    The text below summarises the information required when uploading your abstract. As they will be blind reviewed please ensure you use the correct template provided.

    Abstract format for Classic Presentation and Rapid Five 

    • Title (up to 14 words)
    • Author(s) 
    • Full Name, title, affiliation, city and country of presenter and all co-authors should be included
    • Email address for correspondence
    • A completed abstract with structured format should include [word limit: 300 words]
      • Background
      • Purpose
      • Methods
      • Results
      • Conclusion(s)
      • Implications
    • Presenter Author(s) Biography (up to 100 words) for each presenter (you will be asked for this once accepted)

    Abstract format for Fishbowl and Focused Symposia

    • Name(s):
    • Organisation(s) & role(s):
    • Email address for correspondence (please only include ONE email address).
    • Title of contribution (maximum 30 words).
    • Short description and justification of what your contribution will focus on (300 words max).
    • Who is most likely to benefit from your contribution and how will they benefit?
    • Brief description detailing what delegates can expect from your contribution (100 words). This is what will be used in the conference programme to ‘advertise’ your Fishbowl conversation/Focused symposia.
    • Presenter Author(s) Biography (up to 100 words) for each presenter (you will be asked for this once accepted).


    1. Ensure you have read the information above and chosen: a topic, identified the category and format.
    2. Have all information required.
    3. Submit your abstract by uploading your abstract HERE.

    The online submission form needs to include:

    Abstract category (please indicate the category that most closely aligns with your submission).

    • Research-based (i.e. quantitative or qualitative research studies with relevance to physiotherapy).
    • Innovation in practice (i.e. presentations that report on innovation in practice. Examples include innovations or initiatives in organisation or service delivery models of physiotherapy, novel clinical practice initiatives, quality processes, or policy).
    • Clinical pearl. Clinical pearls are best defined as clinically relevant information based on experience or observations (e.g. a case report).

    Abstract topics (please indicate the topic that most closely aligns with your abstract)

    Please note that while you will be asked to indicate the topic area that your abstract aligns with, the final decision about the stream that accepted abstracts will be placed in will be made by the Scientific Programme Committee.

    • Acute care
    • Cardiorespiratory 
    • Clinical education
    • Collaborative practice
    • Complementary and alternative medicine 
    • Concussion: assessment/management
    • Distance healthcare
    • Health equity
    • Innovative models of health care
    • Long term conditions
    • Māori / Pasifika Health
    • Mental health
    • Mind and body – holistic care
    • Musculoskeletal/Sports
    • Neurological conditions 
    • Occupational Health
    • Older Adults
    • Paediatrics
    • Pain science and management
    • Physical activity 
    • Professional issues
    • Public health/ Policy
    • Technology supported rehabilitation 
    • Women’s and men’s health
    • Other


    • All specified headings must be included and addressed in the body of the abstract.
    • The abstract must be clear and understandable.
    • Correct grammar and spelling must be used throughout.
    • Abbreviations should be used sparingly and only where they ease the reader’s task by reducing repetition of long, technical terms. Initially use the word in full, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses; thereafter use the abbreviation. Abbreviations such as “e.g.” or “etc.” should not be used. The terms ‘physiotherapist’ and ‘physiotherapy’ must not be abbreviated.
    • Measurements must be given in metric units. Statistics, measurements and ages should always be given in figures (e.g., 10mm) except where the number begins a sentence. Numbers that do not refer to a unit of measurement or are less than ten should be written as a word.


    • Bullet points or numbered lists, except for Key practice points and Issue(s) for discussion.
    • Tables.
    • Tabs or indents in body of abstract.
    • References in, or at the end of, the abstract.

    Abstract review information

    Abstracts will be blinded reviewed by two reviewers.

    Abstracts will be evaluated on the basis of:

    • Originality and significance for physiotherapy.
    • Clarity of abstract and adherence with submission requirements.
    • Scientific rigour of study (Research-based abstract category).
    • Robustness of study (Innovation in Practice abstract category).
    • Grounding in literature (Facilitated Discussion Forum abstract category.

    Page updated January 2020.