About us...

Welcome to the website of the German Society for Physiotherapy Science (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Physiotherapiewissenschaft, DGPTW).

The DGPTW was founded in February 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany, as an independent scientific professional organisation. The society’s overarching aim is to promote the development and integration of science and research in physiotherapy, including the link between these and physiotherapy education and physiotherapeutic care. Through this, the DGPTW aims to promote the scientific development of the physiotherapy profession and to foster evidence-based practice in physiotherapy. The DGPTW further aims to stimulate the intra- and interdisciplinary scientific discourse as well as scientific theoretical and methodological pluralism.

The DGPTW’s primary objectives are to...

  • provide support for research projects within the field of physiotherapy
  • promote the quality of physiotherapy research
  • promote the transfer of research findings into physiotherapy practice/care and education
  • organise scientific conferences
  • act as a competent contact for questions on scientific issues related to physiotherapy
  • actively engage in the development and production of guidelines
  • disseminate research finding with relevance to physiotherapy both within Germany and internationally, through scientific journals or digital media pathways (without being active as a publisher)
  • collaborate with other groups, organisations or institutions with relevance to or supporting physiotherapy science in Germany or internationally.


The DGPTW has 13 founding members: Dr. Sven Karstens, Prof. Thilo Kromer, Prof. Gudrun Diermeyr, Prof. Christian Grüneberg, Prof. Nikolaus Ballenberger, Florian Sandeck Prof. Axel Schäfer, Prof. Bernhard Elsner, Dr. Kerstin Lüdtke, Prof. Christian Kopkow, Dr. Cordula Braun, Prof. Monika Lohkamp und Prof. Michael Jung.

Executive Committee

  1. President: Kerstin Lüdtke, physiotherapist, PhD, postdoctoral researcher and lecturer University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Systems Neuroscience University of Hamburg, Germany, Department of Psychology and Movement Sciences. Research focus: the role of physiotherapy in the management of primary headaches, chronic pain with the associated cortical and subcortical changes, medical screening procedures within the physiotherapy setting and the potential role of physiotherapists as first contact practitioners.
  2. Vice-President: Axel Schäfer, physiotherapist, PhD, Professor for Physiotherapy at the University of Applied Sciences Bremen, Germany, Faculty of Social Sciences. Head of academic section. Research focus: Physiotherapy interventions and assessments for chronic musculoskeletal pain, movement analysis, participative development of professional physiotherapy practice and knowledge transfer.
  3. Treasurer: Christian Kopkow, physiotherapist, PhD, Professor for Physiotherapy at the Hochschule für Gesundheit (University of Applied Sciences), Bochum, Germany. Research focus: musculoskeletal physiotherapy, reliability and validity of physical examination, development of core outcome sets, health services research.
  4. Secretary: Bernhard Elsner, physiotherapist, PhD, Professor for Physiotherapy at the SRH Hochschule für Gesundheit Gera (University of Applied Health Sciences), Gera, Germany. Research focus: neurological rehabilitation, particularly related to stroke, Parkinson´s disease, critical illness myopathy and neuropathy.
  5. Committee Member: Cordula Braun, physiotherapist, PhD, Lecturer (Physiotherapy) at hochschule 21, Buxtehude, Germany. Research focus: musculoskeletal physiotherapy; special interest in shoulder-related/prognosis research & research methods, systematic/Cochrane reviews & systematic review methods.


We are welcoming any individuals, groups or institutions who are interested in our work or who would like to become a member or sponsor of the DGPTW.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at:

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