An integrative review of the qualities of a ‘good’ physiotherapist

Physiother Theory Pract. 2021 Dec 9:1-27. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2021.1999354. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Qualities of a physiotherapist may influence the therapeutic alliance and physiotherapy outcomes. Understanding what qualities constitute a ‘good’ physiotherapist has yet to be systematically reviewed notwithstanding potentially profound implications for the future practice of physiotherapy.

PURPOSE: The primary purpose of this review was to critically examine how physiotherapists and their patients describe the qualities of a ‘good’ musculoskeletal physiotherapist as depicted in peer-reviewed literature. The secondary aim was to synthesize qualities represented in the literature, and to compare patient and physiotherapist perspectives.

METHODS: An integrative review methodology was used to undertake a comprehensive literature search, quality appraisal of studies, and thematic analysis of findings. An electronic search of CINAHL, EMBASE, Nursing and Allied Health, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Scopus databases was conducted within a time range from database inception to June 14, 2019.

RESULTS: Twenty-seven studies met the inclusion criteria. Six qualities of a ‘good’ musculoskeletal physiotherapist were identified as: responsive, ethical, communicative, caring, competent, and collaborative.

CONCLUSIONS: The qualities of a ‘good’ physiotherapist identified in the review emphasize the human interaction between physiotherapists and patients and point to the centrality of balancing technical competence with a relational way of being.

PMID:34881685 | DOI:10.1080/09593985.2021.1999354

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