Lost in translation? How patients perceive the extended scope of physiotherapy in the emergency department

Anaf, Sophie, and Sheppard, Lorraine A. (2010) Lost in translation? How patients perceive the extended scope of physiotherapy in the emergency department. Physiotherapy, 96 (2). pp. 160-168.

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Abstract

Objectives: To investigate the perceptions of emergency department physiotherapy practice by emergency patients in metropolitan and regional Australia with a view to probing how consumers interpret the place of physiotherapy in such an acute, non-traditional setting.

Design: A qualitative investigation using a descriptive open-ended questionnaire technique was administered to emergency patients in order to thematically analyse their perceptions of emergency physiotherapy practice.

Setting: Case 1 was a metropolitan emergency department in Melbourne, Australia. Case 2 was a regional emergency department in North Queensland, Australia.

Participants: A purposeful, convenience sample of 80 emergency department patients (n = 40, Case 1; n = 40, Case 2) responded to the open-ended questionnaire.

Analysis: Data were thematically analysed using NVivo software and manual analysis, facilitating constant case comparison, and were reflected upon continually within an interpretivist framework.

Results: Participants at both emergency departments had a general, but limited, awareness of the role of physiotherapy. Among multiple themes identified were six key domains which participants could recognise as being both the role of general physiotherapy and also relevant to the emergency setting. These were sports injury management, musculoskeletal care, rehabilitation and mobility, pain management, respiratory care and management of elderly patients. Discussions also involved those areas that were specific to general physiotherapy practice or emergency department care but which did not overlap.

Conclusions: Participants in this study demonstrated a general, but limited, awareness of the scope of physiotherapy practice. There was strong identification of musculoskeletal-based interventions, with less familiarity with the potential role of physiotherapy in cardiorespiratory and rehabilitative management. Further research is needed on consumer awareness of the broader, less traditional roles of physiotherapy to increase acceptance and familiarity of its extended scope.

Item ID: 16714
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-1465
Keywords: physiotherapy; emergency; emergency department; patient perceptions; extended scope physiotherapy
Date Deposited: 10 May 2011 22:12
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110317 Physiotherapy @ 40%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 60%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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