Personalizing Education: the clinical reasoning processes of physiotherapists using education for the treatment of people with chronic low back pain

Christopher Horler, Clair Hebron, Kathy Martyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Physiotherapists may use a diverse range of educational approaches during the treatment of people with chronic low back pain (CLBP). However, little is known about how physiotherapists clinically reason their use of education in practice. Purpose: The aim of this study was to develop insight into physiotherapists’ clinical reasoning when using education for the treatment of people with CLBP. Methods: This qualitative study used a constructivist grounded theory inspired methodology. A purposive sample of five musculoskeletal physiotherapists from the United Kingdom were recruited via social media. Data were collected through audio recorded semi-structured interviews, field notes and memos, and were coded and analyzed using a constant comparative method. Findings: A concept of ‘personalizing education’ underpinned by three main categories termed ‘exploring the person’s world’, ‘making sense of the person’s world’ and ‘tailoring education’, has been constructed to explain the participating physiotherapists’ clinical reasoning. Conclusion: The findings highlight how communication and interaction underpin the clinical reasoning process for using education with people who have CLBP. Participating physiotherapists explored and made sense of a person’s world before tailoring their educational approach for the individual. Physiotherapists can use this paper to reflect on their practice to inform their own clinical reasoning.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020

Keywords

  • Clinical reasoning
  • chronic low back pain
  • decision making
  • patient education
  • physiotherapy

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