Work participation of patients with musculoskeletal disorders: is this addressed in physical therapy practice?
SourceJournal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 12, (2017), article 27
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal disorders are the main complaints for visiting a physical therapist (PT) in primary health care; they have a negative effect on an individual's quality of life and result in a major cost to society. Qualitative research has shown that physical therapists (PTs) treating patients with these disorders experience barriers in the integration of occupational factors within their practice, and also revealed a lack of cooperation between PTs and (other) occupational healthcare providers. The aim of this study is to quantitatively investigate how generalist PTs in the Netherlands, who treat patients with musculoskeletal disorders, currently integrate occupational factors within their practice, and to identify their opinions and needs with regard to enhancing the integration of the patient's work within physical therapy practice. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among generalist PTs who treat working-age (18-67 years) patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Generalist PTs were contacted for participation via digital news-mails and asked to fill out an online survey which was developed based on the results of a recent qualitative study. The survey consisted of: i) demographics of the participants, ii) questions on how generalist PTs currently integrate occupational factors within their practice, and iii) asked their opinion about the integration of occupational factors within physical therapy. The PTs were also asked about their needs with regard to the integration of occupational factors and with regard to cooperation with other (occupational) health professionals. All answers (using Likert scales) are presented as the number and percentage of the respondents reporting those specific answers, whereas all other answers are presented as means and standard deviations. RESULTS: Of the 142 respondents, 64% indicated that occupational factors should be addressed to a greater extent within physical therapy. To have the possibility to bill for a workplace assessment (60.6%) and more knowledge about laws and regulations (50%) were identified as needs of the respondents. Only 14.8% of the respondents indicated that they communicate with or consult a PT specialized in occupational health. Only 12.7% of the participants who do not have a specialized PT within their practice sometimes/regularly refer patients to a specialized PT. CONCLUSIONS: Although generalist PTs address occupational factors within their practice, there is room for improvement. This study also identified a lack of cooperation between generalist PTs and PTs specialized in occupational health.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.