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1.  Work-related injuries among physiotherapists in public hospitals—a Southeast Asian picture 
Clinics  2011;66(3):373-378.
OBJECTIVES:
A cross-sectional study was conducted to measure the prevalence of work-related injuries among physiotherapists in Malaysia and to explore the influence of factors such as gender, body mass index, years of work experience and clinical placement areas on the occurrence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
METHODS:
Self-administered questionnaires adapted from the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire were sent to 105 physiotherapists at three main public hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The questionnaire had 12 items that covered demographic information, areas of musculoskeletal problems and physiotherapy techniques that could contribute to work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The data obtained were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Science version 14 software.
RESULTS:
The overall prevalence of work-related injuries during the past 12 months was 71.6%. Female therapists reported a significantly higher prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders than the male therapists (73.0%, p<0.001). Significant differences were observed between the proportion of therapists who had work-related musculoskeletal disorders and those who did not for the group with a body mass index (BMI) >25 (χ2 = 9.0, p = 0.003) and the group with a BMI of 18–25 (χ2 = 7.8, p = 0.006). Manual therapy (58.6%) and lifting/transfer tasks (41.3%) were the two physiotherapy techniques that most often contributed to work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
CONCLUSION:
Work-related injuries are significantly higher among the physiotherapists in Malaysia compared with many other countries. Female therapists reported a higher incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in this study, and work-related musculoskeletal disorders were more common among therapists working in the pediatric specialty. This study contributes to the understanding of work-related disorders among physiotherapists from a southeast Asian perspective where the profession is in its development stage.
doi:10.1590/S1807-59322011000300002
PMCID: PMC3071994  PMID: 21552658
Occupation; Manpower; Standards; Injuries, Epidemiology
2.  Work related musculoskeletal disorders amongst therapists in physically demanding roles: qualitative analysis of risk factors and strategies for prevention 
Background
Physiotherapy and occupational therapy are two professions at high risk of work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMD). This investigation aimed to identify risk factors for WRMD as perceived by the health professionals working in these roles (Aim 1), as well as current and future strategies they perceive will allow them to continue to work in physically demanding clinical roles (Aim 2).
Methods
A two phase exploratory investigation was undertaken. The first phase included a survey administered via a web based platform with qualitative open response items. The second phase involved four focus group sessions which explored topics obtained from the survey. Thematic analysis of qualitative data from the survey and focus groups was undertaken.
Results
Overall 112 (34.3%) of invited health professionals completed the survey; 66 (58.9%) were physiotherapists and 46 (41.1%) were occupational therapists. Twenty-four health professionals participated in one of four focus groups. The risk factors most frequently perceived by health professionals included: work postures and movements, lifting or carrying, patient related factors and repetitive tasks. The six primary themes for strategies to allow therapists to continue to work in physically demanding clinical roles included: organisational strategies, workload or work allocation, work practices, work environment and equipment, physical condition and capacity, and education and training.
Conclusions
Risk factors as well as current and potential strategies for reducing WRMD amongst these health professionals working in clinically demanding roles have been identified and discussed. Further investigation regarding the relative effectiveness of these strategies is warranted.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-24
PMCID: PMC3038991  PMID: 21266039
3.  Work-related musculoskeletal disorders : A survey of physical therapists in Izmir-Turkey 
Background
This study was planned to collect data about causes, prevalence and responses to work-related musculoskeletal disorders reported by physiotherapists employed in Izmir, Turkey.
Method
A two-page survey with closed ended questions was used as the data collected method. This survey was distributed to 205 physiotherapists working in Izmir, Turkey, and 120 physiotherapists answered. Questions included occupational history of physiotherapists and musculoskeletal symptoms, special areas, tasks, job-related risk factors, injury prevention strategies, and responses to injury.
Results
Eighty-five percent of the physiotherapists have had a musculoskeletal injury once or more in their lifetime. Injuries have been occurred mostly in low back (26 %), hand-wrist (18 %), shoulders (14 %) and neck (12 %). The highest risk factor in causing the injury was transferring the patient at 15%. Sixty-nine percent of physiotherapists visited a physician for their injury and sixty-seven percent of the respondents indicated that they had not limited their patient contact time as a result to their injury
Conclusions
According to the results of this study, the rate of musculoskeletal disorders in physiotherapists in Izmir-Turkey has been found to be high due to their profession. Respondents felt that a change in work habits was required in order to decrease the risk of another injury.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-5-27
PMCID: PMC516038  PMID: 15315712
4.  Physical activity and health-related quality of life among physiotherapists: a cross sectional survey in an Australian hospital and health service 
Background
Physiotherapists are a professional group with a high rate of attrition and at high risk of musculoskeletal disorders. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the physical activity levels and health-related quality of life of physiotherapists working in metropolitan clinical settings in an Australian hospital and health service. It was hypothesized that practicing physiotherapists would report excellent health-related quality of life and would already be physically active. Such a finding would add weight to a claim that general physical activity conditioning strategies may not be useful for preventing musculoskeletal disorders among active healthy physiotherapists, but rather, future investigations should focus on the development and evaluation of role specific conditioning strategies.
Methods
A questionnaire was completed by 44 physiotherapists from three inpatient units and three ambulatory clinics (63.7% response rate). Physical activity levels were reported using the Active Australia Survey. Health-related quality of life was examined using the EQ-5D instrument. Physical activity and EQ-5D data were examined using conventional descriptive statistics; with domain responses for the EQ-5D presented in a frequency histogram.
Results
The majority of physiotherapists in this sample were younger than 30 years of age (n = 25, 56.8%) consistent with the presence of a high attrition rate. Almost all respondents exceeded minimum recommended physical activity guidelines (n = 40, 90.9%). Overall the respondents engaged in more vigorous physical activity (median = 180 minutes) and walking (median = 135 minutes) than moderate exercise (median = 35 minutes) each week. Thirty-seven (84.1%) participants reported no pain or discomfort impacting their health-related quality of life, with most (n = 35,79.5%) being in full health.
Conclusions
Physical-conditioning based interventions for the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders among practicing physiotherapists may be better targeted to role or task specific conditioning rather than general physical conditioning among this physically active population. It is plausible that an inherent attrition of physiotherapists may occur among those not as active or healthy as therapists who cope with the physical demands of clinical practice. Extrapolation of findings from this study may be limited due to the sample characteristics. However, this investigation addressed the study objectives and has provided a foundation for larger scale longitudinal investigations in this field.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-9-1
PMCID: PMC3896696  PMID: 24405934
Physical activity; Work related musculoskeletal disorders; Physiotherapists; Prevention; Injury; Attrition; Quality of life; Workforce; Australian
5.  Professional Satisfaction and Desire to Emigrate among Nigerian Physiotherapists 
Physiotherapy Canada  2012;64(3):225-232.
ABSTRACT
Purpose: Physiotherapists from developing countries are attracted to developed countries, where health personnel are in high demand. We investigated Nigerian physiotherapists' desire to emigrate, explored the possible relationship between job satisfaction and emigration, and elucidated common reasons why physiotherapists emigrate to other countries. Methods: Nigerian physiotherapists (n=181) were surveyed using a three-part questionnaire. Part 1 elicited socio-demographic information; part 2 assessed satisfaction with work; and part 3 assessed the importance of some possible reasons that physiotherapists choose to emigrate. Results: Close to half of the physiotherapists surveyed have plans to emigrate, but no relationship exists between job satisfaction level and desire to emigrate. An overwhelming majority felt that better or more realistic remuneration was the most important reason for them to leave their country, whereas age and practice experience were inversely related to physiotherapists' desire to emigrate. Conclusion: Policies aimed at mediating “brain drain” should take age and experience into consideration and should be geared toward creating opportunities for career advancement and continuing education.
doi:10.3138/ptc.2010-45
PMCID: PMC3396569  PMID: 23729955
emigration and immigration; job satisfaction; Nigeria; professional satisfaction; émigration; exode des cerveaux; physiothérapeutes nigérians; satisfaction au travail; satisfaction professionnelle
6.  The effects of a medical hypnotherapy on clothing industry employees suffering from chronic pain 
Background
Problems associated with pain in several body regions due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDs), repetitive movement and negative stress at work are quite common in many manufacturing industries of Latvia, int.al. clothing industry. The aim of this study was to evaluate efficiency of the psychotherapeutic intervention using medical hypnotherapy (MH) program for mind-body relaxation with pain-blocking imagery, cognitive restructuring of unpleasant physical and emotional experience.
Methods
300 sewers and 50 cutters with chronic pain were involved in the study. Self-rated WRMDs symptoms, pain intensity and interference were assessed using the extended version of Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire and Brief Pain Inventory Scale. Assessment of the functional state of muscles was carried out using myotonometric (MYO) measurements. Work heaviness degree was estimated via heart rate monitoring (HRM). The MH program was composed of cognitive hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis training. Sunnen Trance Scale was used to determine person’s hypnotic susceptibility. Life quality assessment before and after MH program was carried out using Quality of Life Scale.
Results
At the beginning of MH program sessions both sewers and cutters reported on pain interference with general activities, mood, sleep, normal work, etc., but after MH the interference of pain significantly decreased. HRM data confirmed that work heaviness degree of sewers and cutters can be referred to as light and moderate work (energy expenditure for their tasks varies from 3.4 till 4.7 kcal/min). Using MYO measurements it was stated that before MH 22% of workers involved in the study fell under III MYO category indices, consequently, their muscle tone was increased, which is associated with muscular fatigue. After MH muscle tone remained within the normal range meaning that they were able to adapt to the existing workload (II MYO category) or fully relax (I MYO category).
Conclusions
MH program including exercises-workouts, cognitive hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis training sessions is an effective method to decrease composite chronic pain intensity for sewers and cutters, as well as to decrease psychogenic tension and muscle fatigue (proved by objective measurements of muscles tone) and to increase the life quality.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-8-25
PMCID: PMC3849799  PMID: 24066847
Muscle fatigue; Work heaviness; Psychotherapeutic intervention; Quality of life
7.  Physician diagnosed asthma, respiratory symptoms, and associations with workplace tasks among radiographers in Ontario, Canada 
Background: Medical radiation technologists (MRTs) or radiographers have potential exposure to chemicals including sensitisers and irritants such as glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, and acetic acid.
Aims: To determine the prevalence of asthma and work related respiratory symptoms among MRTs compared with physiotherapists, and to identify work related factors in the darkroom environment that are associated with these outcomes.
Methods: As part of a two component study, we undertook a questionnaire mail survey of the members of the professional associations of MRTs and physiotherapists in Ontario, Canada, to ascertain the prevalence of physician diagnosed asthma, and the prevalence in the past 12 months of three or more of the nine respiratory symptoms (previously validated by Venables et al to be sensitive and specific for the presence of self reported asthma). Information on exposure factors during the past 12 months, such as ventilation conditions, processor leaks, cleanup activities, and use of personal protective equipment was also collected.
Results: The survey response rate was 63.9% among MRTs and 63.1% among physiotherapists. Most analyses were confined to 1110 MRTs and 1523 physiotherapists who never smoked. The prevalence of new onset asthma (since starting in the profession) was greater among never smoking MRTs than physiotherapists (6.4% v 3.95%), and this differed across gender: it was 30% greater among females but fivefold greater among males. Compared with physiotherapists, the prevalence of reporting three or more respiratory symptoms, two or more work related, and three or more work related respiratory symptoms in the past 12 months was more frequent among MRTs, with odds ratios (ORs) (and 95% confidence intervals) adjusted for age, gender, and childhood asthma, of 1.9 (1.5 to 2.3), 3.7 (2.6 to 5.3), and 3.2 (2.0 to 5.0), respectively. Analyses examining latex glove use indicated that this was not likely to account for these differences. Among MRTs, respiratory symptoms were associated with a number of workplace and exposure factors likely to generate aerosol or chemical exposures such as processors not having local ventilation, adjusted OR 2.0 (1.4 to 3.0); leaking processor in which clean up was delayed, 2.4 (1.6 to 3.5); floor drain clogged, 2.0 (1.2 to 3.2); freeing a film jam, 2.9 (1.8 to 4.8); unblocking a blocked processor drain, 2.4 (1.6 to 3.7); and cleaning up processor chemical spill, 2.8 (1.9 to 4.2). These outcomes were not associated with routine tasks unlikely to generate exposures, such as working outside primary workplace, loading film into processor, routine cleaning of processors, or removing processed film. Males reported that they carried out a number of tasks potentially associated with irritant exposures more frequently than females, consistent with the marked increase in risk for new onset asthma.
Conclusions: These findings suggest an increase of work related asthma and respiratory symptoms shown to denote asthma among MRTs, which is consistent with previous surveys. The mechanism is not known but appears to be linked with workplace factors and may involve a role for irritant exposures.
doi:10.1136/oem.60.4.254
PMCID: PMC1740502  PMID: 12660373
8.  Incidence of ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow in repetitive work 
Objectives
Despite the high frequency of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMD), the relations between working conditions and ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow (UNEE) has not been the object of much study. We studied the predictive factors for UNEE in a three-year prospective survey of upper-limb WRMD in repetitive work.
Methods
In 1993–1994 and three years later, 598 workers whose jobs involve repetitive work were examined by their occupational health physicians and completed a self-administered questionnaire. Predictive factors associated with the onset of UNEE were studied with bivariate and multivariate analysis.
Results
Annual incidence was estimated at 0.8% per person year, based on 15 new cases during this three-year period. Holding a tool in position was the only predictive biomechanical factor (OR = 4.1, CI 1.4–12.0). Obesity increased the risk of UNEE (OR = 4.3, CI 1.2–16.2), as did presence of medial epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, radial tunnel syndrome, and cervicobrachial neuralgia. The associations with “holding a tool in position” and obesity were unchanged when the presence of other diagnoses was taken into account.
Conclusions
Despite the limitations of the study, the results suggest that UNEE incidence is associated with one biomechanical risk factor (holding a tool in position, repetitively), with overweight, and with other upper-limb WRMD, especially medial epicondylitis and other nerve entrapment disorders (cervicobrachial neuralgia, carpal and radial tunnel syndromes).
PMCID: PMC2988822  PMID: 15250652
Adult; Comorbidity; Cubital Tunnel Syndrome; epidemiology; etiology; Cumulative Trauma Disorders; complications; epidemiology; Female; France; epidemiology; Humans; Incidence; Logistic Models; Male; Middle Aged; Musculoskeletal Diseases; classification; epidemiology; Obesity; complications; Occupational Diseases; complications; epidemiology; Occupations; classification; Posture; physiology; Prospective Studies; Questionnaires; Risk Factors; Workplace; psychology; elbow; repetitive work; ulnar nerve entrapment; work-related musculoskeletal disorder
9.  Knowledge, attitude and practice of physiotherapists towards promotion of physically active lifestyles in patient management 
Background
Physiotherapists as primary health care practitioners are well placed in promoting physically active lifestyles, but their role and practice towards its promotion among patients in Nigeria has not been fully investigated. This study was therefore aimed at determining the knowledge, attitude and practice of Nigerian physiotherapists towards promotion of non-treatment physical activity among patients.
Methods
Three hundred and eight practicing physiotherapists from various public and private hospitals in 14 states of Nigeria completed an adopted 20-item questionnaire, which collected information on physical activity promotion in physiotherapy practice.
Result
Respondents with good knowledge and attitude towards physical activity promotion in patient management were 196(63.6%) and 292(94.8%) respectively. Only 111 (36%) of the respondents counselled more than 10 patients in the past one month on the benefits of adopting a more physically active lifestyle. Chi-square analysis showed a significant association between low practice of physical activity promotion in patient management with inadequate consultation time (ℵ2 = 3.36, p = 0.043), years of working experience of physiotherapists (ℵ2 = 11.37, p =0.023) and relative physical activity levels of physiotherapists (ℵ2 = 11.82, p = 0.037). The need for Physical activity recommendation guideline was supported by 287 (97%) respondents.
Conclusion
Nigerian physiotherapists have good knowledge and attitude towards promotion of physically active lifestyle in their patients but do not counsel many of them, due to insufficient consultation time. Integrating brief counselling into usual treatment sessions is perceived as the most feasible form of physical activity promotion in patient management.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-21
PMCID: PMC3556299  PMID: 23316902
Knowledge; Attitude; Practice; Physical activity
10.  Management of Low Back Pain by Physical Therapists in Quebec: How Are We Doing? 
Physiotherapy Canada  2011;63(4):464-473.
ABSTRACT
Purpose: In this study, we characterized physiotherapists' attitudes and beliefs about the bio-psychosocial problem of low back pain (LBP), their use of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), and the extent to which their advice and treatment is in line with best-evidence CPGs.
Methods: One hundred eight physiotherapists completed an online survey that included questionnaires exploring the strength of physiotherapists' biomedical and bio-psychosocial orientations toward the management of LBP: the Pain Attitudes and Beliefs Scale for Physiotherapists and the Attitudes to Back Pain Scale for musculoskeletal practitioners. In addition, participants responded to questions about treatment recommendations for patients in two vignettes.
Results: Only 12% of respondents were aware of CPGs. Physiotherapists with a stronger biomedical orientation scored the severity of spinal pathology higher in the patient vignettes. A stronger biomedical orientation was also associated with disagreement with recommendations to return to usual activity or work.
Conclusions: The results suggest limited awareness by physiotherapists of best-evidence CPGs and contemporary understandings of LBP that support early activation and self-management. Research to better understand and facilitate the implementation of best-evidence professional education and clinical practice is an urgent priority.
doi:10.3138/ptc.2010-04P
PMCID: PMC3207987  PMID: 22942525
practice guideline; mobility limitation; low back pain; health knowledge, attitudes, practice; activation; attitudes et croyances des physiothérapeutes; incapacité; lignes directrices de pratique clinique; lombalgie
11.  Work related respiratory symptoms in radiographers. 
OBJECTIVE--To determine the prevalence of work related symptoms among radiographers compared with a control group of physiotherapists. METHOD--A postal questionnaire was used to collect information from radiographers and physiotherapists who registered in the United Kingdom during 1985-9. RESULTS--Satisfactory questionnaires were returned by 2354 (65%) of the radiographers and 3048 (69%) of the physiotherapists. There was a clear excess of work related symptoms among the radiographers. In particular, they were more likely to complain of symptoms that were worse at work, mouth soreness, sore, itchy, or runny eyes, persistent blocked nose, persistent itchy nose or sneezing, sore throat, headache, and of lower respiratory tract symptoms, which were also worse on workdays. These symptoms were associated particularly with the use of automatic processing machines. 235 radiographers gave a history of wheeze or chest tightness that had been worse at work or on days when at work. CONCLUSIONS--Work related symptoms suggesting irritation of the eyes and upper airways were more common in radiographers than controls, and may be related to exposure to x ray film processing chemicals. Men and women who reported work related wheeze or chest tightness will be followed up in more detail to assess the prevalence of occupational asthma in the cohort.
PMCID: PMC1128512  PMID: 8704868
12.  Physiotherapy-supervised mobilization and exercise following cardiac surgery: a national questionnaire survey in Sweden 
Background
Limited published data are available on how patients are mobilized and exercised during the postoperative hospital stay following cardiac surgery. The aim of this survey was to determine current practice of physiotherapy-supervised mobilization and exercise following cardiac surgery in Sweden.
Methods
A prospective survey was carried out among physiotherapists treating adult cardiac surgery patients. A total population sample was identified and postal questionnaires were sent to the 33 physiotherapists currently working at the departments of thoracic surgery in Sweden. In total, 29 physiotherapists (response rate 88%) from eight hospitals completed the survey.
Results
The majority (90%) of the physiotherapists offered preoperative information. The main rationale of physiotherapy treatment after cardiac surgery was to prevent and treat postoperative complications, improve pulmonary function and promote physical activity. In general, one to three treatment sessions were given by a physiotherapist on postoperative day 1 and one to two treatment sessions were given during postoperative days 2 and 3. During weekends, physiotherapy was given to a lesser degree (59% on Saturdays and 31% on Sundays to patients on postoperative day 1). No physiotherapy treatment was given in the evenings. The routine use of early mobilization and shoulder range of motion exercises was common during the first postoperative days, but the choice of exercises and duration of treatment varied. Patients were reminded to adhere to sternal precautions. There were great variations of instructions to the patients concerning weight bearing and exercises involving the sternotomy. All respondents considered physiotherapy necessary after cardiac surgery, but only half of them considered the physiotherapy treatment offered as optimal.
Conclusions
The results of this survey show that there are small variations in physiotherapy-supervised mobilization and exercise following cardiac surgery in Sweden. However, the frequency and duration of exercises and recommendations for sternal precautions reinforced for the healing period differ between physiotherapists. This survey provides an initial insight into physiotherapy management in Sweden. Comparison with surveys in other countries is warranted to improve the physiotherapy management and postoperative recovery of the cardiac surgery patient.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-5-67
PMCID: PMC2936289  PMID: 20738852
13.  Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and physiotherapy management of musculoskeletal conditions: a professional minefield? 
In Australia, physiotherapy is a primary contact profession when practiced in private ambulatory settings. Primary contact means that physiotherapists take responsibility for diagnosis, decisions on interventions, appropriate ongoing management, and costs related to benefits. For most physiotherapists, the most common clinical presentations relate to symptoms from musculoskeletal conditions. There is considerable research evidence for many “physiotherapy” techniques in the management of musculoskeletal symptoms. As part of these management strategies, some physiotherapists may use nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as an adjunct to treatment. Physiotherapists do not have the training or the legislative powers to prescribe NSAIDs. However, they can recommend that patients seek advice about appropriate adjunct NSAIDs from pharmacists and/or medical practitioners. The roles and responsibilities of key health providers in this area appear to be well defined in terms of minimizing medication misadventure and optimizing patient health outcomes. A recent survey of physiotherapist behaviors and practices, however, identified a number of “gray” areas that could confront unwary physiotherapists, or pose dilemmas for those without the support of medical/pharmacist colleagues. These gray areas relate to the adjunct use of topical NSAIDs in physiotherapy management and making recommendations for the use of oral NSAIDs. This paper reports on qualitative data that highlights the dilemmas confronting physiotherapists.
PMCID: PMC1661609  PMID: 18360546
physiotherapy; antiinflammatory agents; legal and ethical issues
14.  Translating Policy into Practice for Community-Based Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Targeting Professional Development Needs among Physiotherapists 
Introduction. Contemporary health policy promotes delivery of community-based health services to people with musculoskeletal conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This emphasis requires a skilled workforce to deliver safe, effective care. We aimed to explore physiotherapy workforce readiness to co-manage consumers with RA by determining the RA-specific professional development (PD) needs in relation to work and educational characteristics of physiotherapists in Western Australia (WA). Methods. An e-survey was sent to physiotherapists regarding their confidence in co-managing people with RA and their PD needs. Data including years of clinical experience, current RA clinical caseload, professional qualifications, and primary clinical area of practice were collected. Results. 273 physiotherapists completed the survey. Overall confidence in managing people with RA was low (22.7–58.2%) and need for PD was high (45.1–95.2%). Physiotherapists with greater years of clinical experience, a caseload of consumers with RA, postgraduate qualifications in musculoskeletal physiotherapy, or who worked in the musculoskeletal area were more confident in managing people with RA and less likely to need PD. Online and face-to-face formats were preferred modes of PD delivery. Discussion. To enable community-based RA service delivery to be effectively established, subgroups within the current physiotherapy workforce require upskilling in the evidence-based management of consumers with RA.
doi:10.1155/2012/240689
PMCID: PMC3502858  PMID: 23209474
15.  Clinical balance assessment: perceptions of commonly-used standardized measures and current practices among physiotherapists in Ontario, Canada 
Background
Balance impairment is common in multiple clinical populations, and comprehensive assessment is important for identifying impairments, planning individualized treatment programs, and evaluating change over time. However, little information is available regarding whether clinicians who treat balance are satisfied with existing assessment tools. In 2010 we conducted a cross-sectional survey of balance assessment practices among physiotherapists in Ontario, Canada, and reported on the use of standardized balance measures (Sibley et al. 2011 Physical Therapy; 91: 1583-91). The purpose of this study was to analyse additional survey data and i) evaluate satisfaction with current balance assessment practices and standardized measures among physiotherapists who treat adult or geriatric populations with balance impairment, and ii) identify factors associated with satisfaction.
Methods
The questionnaire was distributed to 1000 practicing physiotherapists. This analysis focuses on questions in which respondents were asked to rate their general perceptions about balance assessment, the perceived utility of individual standardized balance measures, whether they wanted to improve balance assessment practices, and why. Data were summarized with descriptive statistics and utility of individual measures was compared across clinical practice areas (orthopaedic, neurological, geriatric or general rehabilitation).
Results
The questionnaire was completed by 369 respondents, of which 43.4% of respondents agreed that existing standardized measures of balance meet their needs. In ratings of individual measures, the Single Leg Stance test and Berg Balance Scale were perceived as useful for clinical decision-making and evaluating change over time by over 70% of respondents, and the Timed Up-and-Go test was perceived as useful for decision-making by 56.9% of respondents and useful for evaluating change over time by 62.9% of respondents, but there were significant differences across practice groups. Seventy-nine percent of respondents wanted to improve their assessments, identifying individual, environmental and measure-specific barriers. The most common barriers were lack of time and knowledge.
Conclusions
This study offers new information on issues affecting the evaluation of balance in clinical settings from a broad sample of physiotherapists. Continued work to address barriers by specific practice area will be critical for the success of any intervention attempting to implement optimal balance assessment practices in the clinical setting.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-8-33
PMCID: PMC3606836  PMID: 23510277
16.  Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders among Nurses in Ibadan, South-west Nigeria: a cross-sectional survey 
Background
Musculoskeletal disorders represent a significant occupational problem among nurses; however, data on musculoskeletal health of nurses in Sub-Sahara Africa are sparse. This study sought to determine the lifetime, 12-months period and point prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs); the associated job risk factors and the coping strategies toward reducing the risk among nurses from selected hospitals in Ibadan, South-west Nigeria
Methods
A previously validated self administered questionnaire which sought information on demographics, prevalence and pattern of WMSDs, associated job risk factors and coping strategies was employed as the survey instrument. A total of 160 questionnaires were distributed to nurses in the different hospitals but 128 questionnaires were returned yielding an 80% response rate. 10 of the returned questionnaires were excluded because of incomplete data.
Results
Eighty-four point four percent of the nurses have had WMSDs once or more in their occupational lives. The 12-months period and point prevalence rate of WMSDs at any body region was 78% and 66.1% respectively. WMSDs occurred mostly in low back (44.1%), neck (28.0%), and knees (22.4%). 30.3% treated themselves or had visited other health practitioners for care. Nurses with > 20 years of clinical experience are about 4 times more likely to develop WMSDs (OR 3.81; CI 1.08-13.4) than those with 11-20 years experience. Working in the same positions for long periods (55.1%), lifting or transferring dependent patients (50.8%) and treating an excessive number of patients in one day (44.9%) were the most perceived job risk factors for WMSDs. Getting help in handling heavy patients (50.4%), modification of nursing procedures in order to avoid re-injury (45.4%), and modifying patient's/nurse position (40.3%) were the top three coping strategies.
Conclusions
A high proportion of Nigerian nurses reported WMSDs at some body site in their occupational lives with the low back being injured most often. Education programmes on prevention and coping strategies for musculoskeletal disorders are recommended for nurses in order to reduce the rate of occupational hazards and also promote efficiency in patient care.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-12
PMCID: PMC2823665  PMID: 20089139
17.  Assessment and management of neurogenic claudication associated with lumbar spinal stenosis in a UK primary care musculoskeletal service: a survey of current practice among physiotherapists 
Background
Neurogenic claudication (NC) is the clinical syndrome commonly associated with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). Non-surgical management is recommended as initial treatment, but little is known about current practice in relation to the assessment and management of these patients in the non-surgical setting.
Methods
We conducted a questionnaire survey of physiotherapists in a large UK primary care musculoskeletal service which provides a city-wide multidisciplinary assessment and treatment facility for patients with spinal and other musculoskeletal problems. Data on therapists' recognition and management of patients with NC and LSS were collected.
Results
Fifty out of 54 therapists completed questionnaires, and all but one of these identified a clearly recognised posture-related clinical syndrome of NC. Almost all respondents (48: 96%) reported the routine use of physiotherapy treatments. In particular, advice and education (49: 98%) along with an exercise programme (47: 94%) incorporating flexion-based exercises (41: 82%) and trunk muscle stabilising exercises (35: 70%) were favoured.
Conclusion
Musculoskeletal physiotherapy clinicians in this survey recognised a clear clinical syndrome of NC, based on the findings of posture-dependent symptoms. Most therapists reported the routine use of flexion-based exercise, reflecting recommendations in the literature which are based on theoretical benefits, but for which trial evidence is lacking. There is a need for research evidence to guide the choice of physiotherapy treatments.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-10-121
PMCID: PMC2762954  PMID: 19796387
18.  What does standard rehabilitation practice after total hip replacement in the UK entail? results of a mixed methods study 
Background
There is evidence of prolonged poor function in patients following total hip replacement (THR). Studies of progressive resistance training (PRT) interventions to improve function are often compared to ‘standard’ practice which is not well defined. This study aimed to investigate ‘standard’ rehabilitation care in the UK after total hip replacement (THR) as well as determine whether PRT was part of ‘standard’ care.
Methods
After ethical approval, questionnaire item development about rehabilitation practice was guided by a focus group interview (after informed consent) with physiotherapists (n = 4; >5 years post-qualification) who regularly treated THR patients. An online questionnaire investigating the exercises prescribed and rehabilitation practice following THR was developed and sent to physiotherapists working in hospitals in the UK. The survey was performed from January to May 2011. The survey results were analysed (frequency (%) of responses) focusing on the exercises the physiotherapists considered important, as well as their use of PRT in prescribed regimes.
Results
106 responses were obtained from physiotherapists in the UK. The survey respondents considered that the most important muscles to target in all phases of rehabilitation were the hip abductors (62.2%), followed by the quadriceps (16.9%), and other muscles (21%). Exercise type prescribed revealed no consensus, with weight bearing (42%), functional (45%) and Bed-based/Bridging/Postural exercises (13%) favoured. 83.7% were able to define the basis of progressive resistance training (PRT), but only 33% prescribed it.
Conclusions
Standard physiotherapy rehabilitation in the UK after THR is variable, and appears to rarely include PRT. This may be a factor in prolonged poor function in some patients after this common operation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-91
PMCID: PMC3606380  PMID: 23496875
Physiotherapy; Orthopaedics; Osteoarthritis; Training
19.  A physiotherapy triage assessment service for people with low back disorders: evaluation of short-term outcomes 
Purpose:
To determine the short-term effects of physiotherapy triage assessments on self-reported pain, functioning, and general well-being and quality of life in people with low back-related disorders.
Methods:
Participants with low back–related complaints were recruited from those referred to a spinal triage assessment program delivered by physiotherapists (PTs). Before undergoing the triage assessment, the participants completed a battery of questionnaires covering a range of sociodemographic, clinical, and psychosocial features. The study used the Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and the Medical Outcomes Survey 36-item short-form version 2 (SF-36v2) to assess self-reported pain, function, and quality of life. Baseline measures and variables were analyzed using a descriptive analysis method (ie, proportions, means, medians). Paired samples t-tests or Wilcoxon matched-pair signed-rank tests were used to analyze the overall group differences between the pretest and posttest outcome measures where appropriate.
Results:
A total of 108 out of 115 (93.9%) participants completed the posttest survey. The Physical Component Summary of the SF36v2 was the only measure that demonstrated significant improvement (P < 0.001).
Conclusion:
A spinal triage assessment program delivered by PTs can be viewed as a complex intervention that may have the potential to affect a wide range of patient-related outcomes. Further research is needed to examine the long-term outcomes and explore potential mechanisms of improvement using a biopsychosocial framework.
doi:10.2147/PROM.S31657
PMCID: PMC3417935  PMID: 22915980
interprofessional practice; quality of life; back pain; orthopedics
20.  Burnout syndrome in Cypriot physiotherapists: a national survey 
Background
Burnout in the healthcare workers is formally defined as a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in situations that are emotionally demanding.
Methods
Using a random stratified sampling method and taking into account geographical location, specialty and type of employment, 172 physiotherapists working both in the private and public sectors completed an anonymous questionnaire that included several aspects related to burnout; the MBI scale, questions related to occupational stress, and questions pertaining to self image.
Results
Almost half (46%) of the 172 participants believed that their job is stressful. Approximately 57% of the physiotherapists who worked in the public sector and 40% of those who worked in the private sector (p = 0.038) reported that their job is stressful. In total, 21.1% of participants met Maslach's criteria for burnout. The point prevalence of burnout was as follows: (1) 13.8% of those who worked in the public sector and 25.5% of those in the private sector (2) 22.2% of males and 20% of females (3) 21.6% who were married, 18% who were single and 33.3% who were separated. Gender was found to be associated with the level of personal accomplishment (chi-squared test; p = 0.049), as 17.8% of men compared with 24.3% of women reported high personal accomplishment. The number of years of working as a physiotherapist correlated negatively (r = -0.229, p = 0.004) with the total depersonalization score. Regression analysis showed that the perception that the job is stressful (p < 0.001) and the low salary (p = 0.016) were significant predictors of high emotional exhaustion scores, while age group (p = 0.027) predicted high scores of depersonalization and the employment sector (p = 0.050) as well as the low salary predicted high personal accomplishment scores.
Conclusions
Burnout levels in physiotherapists in Cyprus ranged from low to moderate.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-63
PMCID: PMC2842269  PMID: 20222948
21.  Canadian physiotherapists' views on certification, specialisation, extended role practice, and entry-level training in rheumatology 
Background
Since the last decade there has been a gradual change of boundaries of health professions in providing arthritis care. In Canada, some facilities have begun to adopt new arthritis care models, some of which involve physiotherapists (PT) working in extended roles. However, little is known about PTs' interests in these new roles. The primary objective of this survey was to determine the interests among orthopaedic physiotherapists (PTs) in being a certified arthritis therapist, a PT specialized in arthritis, or an extended scope practitioner in rheumatology, and to explore the associated factors, including the coverage of arthritis content in the entry-level physiotherapy training.
Methods
Six hundred PTs practicing in orthopaedics in Canada were randomly selected to receive a postal survey. The questionnaire covered areas related to clinical practice, perceptions of rheumatology training received, and attitudes toward PT roles in arthritis care. Logistic regression models were developed to explore the associations between PTs' interests in pursuing each of the three extended scope practice designations and the personal/professional/attitudinal variables.
Results
We received 286 questionnaires (response rate = 47.7%); 258 contained usable data. The average length of time in practice was 15.4 years (SD = 10.4). About 1 in 4 PTs agreed that they were interested in assuming advanced practice roles (being a certified arthritis therapist = 28.9%, being a PT specialized in rheumatology = 23.3%, being a PT practitioner = 20.9%). Having a caseload of ≥ 40% in arthritis, having a positive attitude toward advanced practice roles in arthritis care and toward the formal credentialing process, and recognizing the difference between certification and specialisation were associated with an interest in pursing advanced practice roles.
Conclusion
Orthopaedic PTs in Canada indicated a fair level of interest in pursuing certification, specialisation and extended scope practice roles in arthritis care. Future research should focus on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the emerging health service delivery models involving certified, specialized or extended scope practice PTs in the management of arthritis.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-88
PMCID: PMC2696419  PMID: 19490639
22.  Practice patterns of physiotherapists in neonatal intensive care units: A national survey 
Objective:
To determine practice pattern of physiotherapists in the neonatal intensive care units (ICUs) in India with regards to cardiopulmonary and neuromuscular physiotherapy.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional survey was conducted across India, in which 285 questionnaires were sent via e-mail to physiotherapists working in neonatal intensive care units.
Results:
A total of 139 completed questionnaires were returned with a response rate of 48.7%, with a majority of responses from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat. More than 90% of physiotherapists performed chest physiotherapy in neonatal ICUs. Chest physiotherapy assessment predominantly focused on vital parameter assessment (86%) and in treatment predominantly focused on percussion (74.1%), vibration (75.5%), chest manipulation (73.3%), postural drainage (67.6%) and suction (65.4%). In neuromuscular physiotherapy more than 60% of physiotherapists used positioning, and parent education, whereas more than 45% focused on passive range of motion exercise and therapeutic handling.
Conclusion:
The practice pattern of physiotherapists for neonates in neonatal intensive care units involves both chest physiotherapy as well neuromuscular physiotherapy. Chest physiotherapy assessment focused mainly on vital parameter assessment (heart rate, respiratory rate and partial pressure of oxygen saturation SpO2). Treatment focused on airway clearance techniques including percussion, vibration, postural drainage and airway suction. In neuromuscular physiotherapy most physiotherapists focused on parent education and passive range of motion exercise, therapeutic handling, as well as positioning.
doi:10.4103/0972-5229.123448
PMCID: PMC3902571  PMID: 24501488
Chest physiotherapy; early intervention; neonatal intensive care unit; neuromuscular physiotherapy; survey
23.  Perceptions on the Essential Competencies for Intraprofessional Practice 
Physiotherapy Canada  2013;65(2):148-151.
ABSTRACT
Purpose: To gather the perspectives of physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants on essential competencies for intraprofessional (physiotherapist–physiotherapist assistant) collaboration. Method: A survey was developed to gather physiotherapist and physiotherapist assistant perceptions of the essential elements of effective and efficient intraprofessional collaborative practice. Participants were asked to rate the importance of 36 elements in 6 different categories (communication, collaboration, consultation, assignment of tasks, conflict management, and roles/responsibilities) involved in intraprofessional practice. Results: A total of 1049 physiotherapists and 121 physiotherapist assistants responded to the survey. Analysis identified 10 competency elements perceived by participants as essential to effective and efficient intraprofessional collaboration. Comparisons using demographic variables consistently yielded the same top 10 elements. Conclusions: Our results indicated that physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants working in private and public practice share very similar views on what is essential for effective intraprofessional practice. The consensus is that communication is key; open lines of communication help to determine responsibilities. Physiotherapy pre-licensure and continuing education programmes should include opportunities to work on communication, listening, and the skills needed to interact and collaborate effectively.
doi:10.3138/ptc.2012-02
PMCID: PMC3673793  PMID: 24403676
competencies; collaboration; intraprofessional practice; physiotherapist assistant; assistant du physiothérapeute; collaboration; compétences; physiothérapeute; pratique intraprofessionnelle
24.  Prevalence of Physical Activity Among Adults in a Metropolitan Nigerian City: A Cross-Sectional Study 
Journal of Epidemiology  2013;23(3):169-177.
Background
Baseline information on physical activity is relevant to controlling the epidemic of chronic noncommunicable diseases occurring in many African countries. However, standardized data on physical activity are lacking in Nigeria. We assessed the prevalence of physical activity and its relationships with sociodemographic characteristics in a subnational sample of Nigerian adults.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a representative sample of 934 adults (age, 20–82 years) living in metropolitan Maiduguri, Nigeria. Physical activity was measured using the validated Nigerian version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (Hausa IPAQ-SF). Using the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline, participants were classified as sufficiently active or insufficiently active. Sociodemographic correlates of sufficient physical activity were identified using multinomial logistic regression.
Results
Overall, 68.6% of Nigerian adults were sufficiently active. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in prevalence of physical activity between men (68.0%) and women (69.3%), but physical activity tended to decrease with increasing age category, especially among men. Physical activity prevalence was positively associated with being married (OR = 1.52, CI = 1.04–4.37) and blue collar work (OR = 2.19, CI = 1.16–4.12) and negatively associated with car ownership (OR = 0.38, CI = 0.17–0.86) and higher income (OR = 0.54, CI = 0.10–0.95).
Conclusions
The prevalence of physical activity varied between sociodemographic subgroups of Nigerian adults; thus, public health policies and interventions based on ecologic models of health behaviors may be warranted in promoting physical activity in Nigeria.
doi:10.2188/jea.JE20120116
PMCID: PMC3700262  PMID: 23604060
physical activity; sociodemographic characteristics; IPAQ; Nigerian adults
25.  A Survey of the Burden of Management of Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media in a Developing Country 
Background:
Although the prevalence of chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) is much higher in developing counties, most surgical treatment techniques are not easily accessible in many poor resource countries.
Aim:
The survey aims to examine the extent to which health care facilities in Nigeria are equipped to address the management challenges of CSOM.
Subjects and Methods:
Online questionnaires were sent and received from otolaryngologists practicing in across Nigerian public health institutions to evaluate the institutional practice concerning management of CSOM. Information enquired include: Proportion of CSOM among the ear, nose and throat (ENT) patient load, routinely applied treatments and challenges facing availability of standard treatment options. Data were analyzed with Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 15 (Chicago Illinois, USA), and presented descriptively.
Results:
Responses were returned from 17 otolaryngologists (68% [17/25]) practicing in institutions across the six geopolitical zones with a mean duration of otolaryngology services of 22.4 (14.8) years. The CSOM patients constitute an average of 25.3% (13.1) of ENT patient load, with an average of 31 (15.3) % having significant hearing loss. Surgery have never been tried in 41% (7/17) of the institutions due to lack of facilities and/or expertise. Among institutions that offer surgery, 40% (4/10) offer only cortical mastoidectomy and only 30% (3/10) offer type 1 tympanoplasty. Achievements of permanent dry ears were reported more in institutions that offer surgery. Unaffordable cost of hearing aid and lack of expertise for tympanoplasty are the major challenging factors for rehabilitation of CSOM induced hearing loss.
Conclusion:
Considering the enormity of CSOM in Nigeria, and the fact that > 40% (7/17) of the public health institutions still lack facilities and/or expertise for surgical treatments for CSOM, public otolaryngological centers should not only be adequately equipped for tympanomastoid surgeries, attention should be focused on further training of experts in the operative techniques from within and outside the country.
doi:10.4103/2141-9248.122126
PMCID: PMC3868131  PMID: 24380016
Chronic suppurative otitis media; Ear discharge; Hearing aids; Hearing loss; Mastoidectomy; Tympanoplasty

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