Professional role and autonomy in physiotherapy. A study of Swedish physiotherapists
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Umeå University, Sweden
A study of 163 physiotherapists' conception of their professional role and autonomy and the implications for their work has been completed. About half (55%) felt that physicians and other staff members primarily expected them to act as independent professionals, while about one-third (34%) felt that they were expected to undertake treatment after referral from or discussion with the physician. Most physiotherapists (86%) were firmly in control of their treatment methods, but had somewhat restricted freedom in deciding whom to treat, and when to terminate treatment. The majority (96%) regarded their professional tasks as being important for others. Few (14%) had carried out any systematic evaluation of their methods and results--hence few obtained any objective feedback from their work, which is believed to affect the quality of work, as well as work motivation and job satisfaction.
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