WHAT MATTERS MOST TO PEOPLE IN MUSCULOSKELETAL PHYSIOTHERAPY CONSULTATIONS? A QUALITATIVE STUDY

Review written by Robin Kerr info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Traditional musculoskeletal physiotherapy predominantly utilizes a biomedical paradigm in which a power asymmetry between the clinician and person seeking therapy exists. The biopsychosocial paradigm encourages a person-centered approach, the aim being a partnership in which power, responsibility and control over decision-making are equally shared. The objective of this qualitative study was to understand people’s ability to express their “issues of most importance” to their clinician during an initial consultation and subsequently the clinician’s ability to understand and address these issues.

METHODS

  • NHS-based qualitative study
  • 15 clinicians were recruited then 15 persons requiring musculoskeletal physiotherapy were allocated to them.
  • Pre and post-consultation interviews were performed plus the consultation was recorded. All 3 interactions were transcribed.
  • A hermeneutic approach, i.e. manual in-depth interpretation of the texts, by one author experienced in interpretive phenomenology, was employed. In this approach themes arising in the data could be identified.

RESULTS

Most people presented with 2 to 5 topics they wished to discuss. Three themes emerged from the data.

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