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Physiotherapy students’ experiences of working with people with dementia during their clinical placements: a qualitative study

Hunter, S, Callisaya, M ORCID: 0000-0003-2122-1622 and Lawler, K ORCID: 0000-0002-1484-1113 2022 , 'Physiotherapy students’ experiences of working with people with dementia during their clinical placements: a qualitative study' , Physiotherapy Theory and Practice , pp. 1-19 , doi: 10.1080/09593985.2022.2028324.

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Abstract

Purpose To explore the experiences of physiotherapy students on working with people with dementia during their clinical placements.Methods Qualitative study using a Web-based survey of students in a 2-year entry-level Masters of Physical Therapy (MPT) program. Students were asked to reflect on their experiences during clinical placements within the MPT program. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the survey responses.Results A total of 55 students (93%) completed the survey. Two overarching themes were mastery and inequity. Mastery described dementia care physiotherapy as a complex and potentially rewarding area of practice, requiring education and development throughout the professional continuum from student to expert. Inequity captured the barriers people with dementia experience to receiving excellent physiotherapy care. Six categories supported the themes: 1) physiotherapist characteristics for a successful therapeutic relationship; 2) communication strategies; 3) best practice physiotherapy skills and knowledge; 4) education strategies; 5) desire to work with people living with dementia; and 6) equity.Conclusions The study found physiotherapy students’ experiences were informed by the preceptors’ approach to delivery of care for people living with dementia. The students also articulated areas they wish they had known before placement and provided suggestions for teaching development in this area.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hunter, S and Callisaya, M and Lawler, K
Keywords: physiotherapy, dementia, education, physical therapists, students, rehabilitation
Journal or Publication Title: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
ISSN: 0959-3985
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/09593985.2022.2028324
Copyright Information:

© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

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