Self-efficacy beliefs and confidence of rural physiotherapists to undertake specialist paediatric caseloads: a paediatric example

Minisini, M., Sheppard, L.A., and Jones, A. (2010) Self-efficacy beliefs and confidence of rural physiotherapists to undertake specialist paediatric caseloads: a paediatric example. Rural and Remote Health, 10 (4). - .

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Introduction: Rural physiotherapists are faced with unique challenges, one of which is the necessity to extend their skills and knowledge to areas that would be covered by a specialist physiotherapist in an urban setting. The effects of this on the physiotherapist’s confidence and self-belief has not been studied. The present study aimed to measure the self-efficacy and confidence of rural physiotherapists who undertake service delivery in the specialist field of paediatrics.

Method: A descriptive, cross-sectional design survey was made of rural and remote physiotherapists working in north-west Queensland, Australia. Responses were coded and analysed using descriptive statistics and cross tabs to compare existing relationships among variables.

Results: Twenty-three (of 56) completed surveys were returned (41% response rate). Rural and remote physiotherapist’s are likely to be sole practitioners or part of a small group of clinicians, working full time in a hospital or private practice. These physiotherapists reported less peer support than urban physiotherapists and were required to treat multiple cases across specialist areas. Physiotherapists working in such a demanding, unsupported environment have a low belief in their abilities and poor coping strategies, causing them to develop low self-efficacy.

Conclusion: Rural physiotherapists having low self-efficacy can mean they have low levels of confidence in their ability to practise, and hold the belief that they lack the skills and attributes to practice. This could mean a conflict with professional conduct and ethical standards. Early identification of low self-efficacy gives time to review, develop and sustain strategies to help address the problems faced by the rural physiotherapist workforce, and to re-develop this workforce into one that is more stable and supportive.

Item ID: 14904
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: adaptation, adjustment, Australia, general practice workforce, Northern Territory, place attachment, retention
ISSN: 1445-6354
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2010 23:05
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services) @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 1
Downloads: Total: 2
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