What do patients seek in primary care physiotherapy?
- Information and Education
- Treatment for pain relief
- Treatment to improve function
How important are the above aspects of physiotherapy to patients?
This cross-sectional survey sought to find exactly the answer to this question in addition to any patient factors (e.g. age and gender) associated with how individual patients place their importance on these factors.
500 patients participated in the survey across 10 private physiotherapy clinics. They were given the 5 aspects of physiotherapy, as listed above, and asked to indicate (on a 5-point scale) how important they were for presenting to the physiotherapist for the current health condition.
The results revealed most patients considered all aspects of physiotherapy treatment more than moderately important. In particular, patients considered it extremely important to have pain relief and improved function as a result of their interaction with the physiotherapist. Fewer patients found diagnosis and information aspects as extremely important.
Analysis examining the patient factor association revealed that female patients or those with spinal conditions were more likely to consider pain relief as important. Patients with low education (defined in the study by those who have not completed university education) were likely to find diagnosis and information important aspects.
This study was able to demonstrate that patients find the different aspects of physiotherapy as important. In practice, it may be worthwhile to show and ask the individual patient which aspect they consider important so that the physiotherapist can provide most comprehensive and person-centered care.
Want to read deeper into this topic? Have a look at the free full text version of this article published in Journal of Physiotherapy!
> From: McRae et al., J Physiother 63(4) (2017) 250-256. All rights reserved to the Australian Physiotherapy Assocation. Click here for the online summary.