Is regular use of physiotherapy treatment associated with health locus of control and self-management competency? A study of patients with musculoskeletal disorders undergoing physiotherapy in primary health care.

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Review written by Dr Sandy Hilton

Key Points

  1. It is important to teach self-management strategies for musculoskeletal disorders.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

The global burden of musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders includes direct costs of treatment, time lost from work, sick leave, and disability. There are large variations in health care for MSK disorders, and in patient perception of their pain and limitations (1). These variations affect quality of life as well as increasing the financial burden.

The authors of this study proposed that patients who have increased understanding and an ability to self-manage will have improved quality of life with a decrease in emotional distress and ultimately less utilization of care. The utilization of services is an expense, yet it is also needed to teach self-treatment and promote self-efficacy. This study explored the relationship between regular physiotherapy and an internal locus of control/self-management competency. In other words, it attempted to answer the question - Is regular physiotherapy helpful in establishing independence for MSK disorders?

The global burden of musculoskeletal disorders includes direct costs of treatment, time lost from work, sick leave, and disability.
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Over-utilization of physiotherapy may create dependency which could decrease self-efficacy and create an external locus of control.

METHODS

This was a convenience sample and cross sectional study of 507 patients between 18-70 years old who attended one physiotherapy clinic in Oslo, Norway. The data was collected over a one-week period. Subjects completed the Health Education Impact Questionnaire (3)

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