Electrophysical Agents for Physical Therapists: An Evidence Informed Clinical Review and Update – Fall 2017

18 October-22 November, 2017

A Five-Week Online Course Presented by Dr. Sandy Rennie, PhD

Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto

REGISTER HERE – Sorry Registration has closed for this course


Electrophysical agents (EPAs) are those modalities that administer thermal, mechanical, electrical or light energy to the patient to provide physiological effects and therapeutic benefits. They are primarily used in physiotherapy practice as an adjunct to other treatment and management techniques. For this course, we will be examining the following EPAs: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), Interferential Current (IFC), Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES), Therapeutic Ultrasound (US) and Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). Over this webinar series you will learn about the strengths, limitations, current evidence, and clinical considerations for including any or all of these common electrophysical modalities in your patient care plans.

Participants are expected to complete the course over a set six-week period. Online activities consist of weekly live one-hour webinars (Wednesdays, 12:00-1:15 EST), online question-and-answer periods (Wednesdays, 1:15-1:30 EST), and resources, readings, and cases posted on the course website. Learners not able to attend live sessions will have access to the recorded lectures. A weekly discussion board will be available for further questions and answers.


At the conclusion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Provide an overview of evidence-informed practice with respect to the use and application of electrophysical agents in physiotherapy practice.
  • Explain the rationale for the selection and use of electrophysical agent(s) in the management of patients.
  • Assess the most appropriate use and method of application of electrophysical agents in the management of patients.
  • Discuss the biophysical rationale for the use of electrophysical agents.
  • Assess the potential impact of the use of electrophysical agents on the patient’s presenting signs and symptoms.
  • Discuss the contraindications and precautions for the use of electrophysical agents.


Sandy Rennie, PT, PhD graduated as a physiotherapist in 1972 with a diploma in Physiotherapy.  He completed his BPT in 1976, his Master’s in 1985, and PhD in 2002 in Educational Administration and Leadership. He began his teaching career in physiotherapy in Australia from 1977 to 1981. He taught at the University of Alberta from 1981 to 2004, and at the University of Toronto from 2004 to 2006. He was the Director of the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University in Halifax from 2007 to 2012. Currently he is an Adjunct Professor of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University and the University of Toronto, and a part-time professor in the PT program the University of Ottawa. Sandy has received teaching awards and the prestigious Enid Graham award. He has taught electrophysical agents theory and practice for 35 years in both undergraduate and graduate entry-level physiotherapy programs. He has lectured at many local, national and international conferences and given many continuing education courses on the use of electrophysical agents in physiotherapy.


To participate in this online course, you will need:

  1. An up-to-date web browser, preferably Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari.
  2. A recent version of Adobe Reader (http://get.adobe.com/reader/)
  3. A recent version of Adobe Flash.  It can be downloaded from http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ although some web browsers include it.

It is possible to view course content and participate on the discussion board with a smart phone using the Blackboard Mobile Learn app; however, it cannot be used to take tests. Links to download the app for iOS, Android, and Blackberry can be found at:  http://www.portalinfo.utoronto.ca/content/blackboard-mobile-learn


REGISTER HERE – Sorry Registration has closed for this course

Registration fees include five webinars and resources:

Early Bird Fee:                   $355 (received on or before Thursday, 21 September, 2017)

Regular Fee:                       $420 (received after Thursday, 21 September, 2017)

Registration Deadline:   11 October, 2017

Phone: (416) 946-8641 • Fax: (416) 946-8562

For further information please contact: pt.coned@utoronto.ca

Refund for withdrawal from the course is subject to a $75.00 administration fee and must be made 5 days prior to the commencement of the course

The University of Toronto reserves the right to cancel in cases of insufficient registration.