Patients’ and healthcare professionals’ experiences and perceptions of physiotherapy services in the emergency department: A qualitative systematic review

Journal article


Barrett, R and Terry, L (2018). Patients’ and healthcare professionals’ experiences and perceptions of physiotherapy services in the emergency department: A qualitative systematic review. International Journal of Emergency Medicine. 11 (1).
AuthorsBarrett, R and Terry, L
Abstract

Worldwide, emergency department (ED) attendances and admissions to acute care have increased significantly. Many EDs are adding physiotherapists to their team thereby allowing doctors to see more cases that are ‘urgent’. This is a move away from the ‘traditional’ physiotherapy service whereby the ED team refers patients to an outpatient physiotherapy service sometimes resulting in significant delays. Internationally, there is no agreed consensus on the role or value of ED-based physiotherapists. Aim The objective of this review was to retrieve, critically appraise and synthesise the evidence from studies relating to patients’ and healthcare professionals’ experiences and/or perceptions of physiotherapy services in the ED. Method A systematic review (SR) synthesising qualitative studies, which have considered patients’ (Population 1) and healthcare professionals’ (Population 2) experiences and/or perceptions (Outcomes) of ED physiotherapy services (Exposure). A comprehensive systematic search, limited to English language articles, was undertaken on seven electronic medical databases (Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, BNI, PubMed and PEDro) for the period January 2006 to October 2016. Grey literature was identified using Google Scholar, reference lists and website searching. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) qualitative checklist was used to appraise all included studies. All studies were data extracted and quality appraised by two reviewers to enhance rigor and reduce bias. Results A total of 2163 studies were screened, 10 received full text review and 7 studies were included in the final review. Six of the studies originated in Australia and one from the USA. The themes that emerged were: • Patients and healthcare professionals view ED-based physiotherapists as having (1) expert clinical skills and (2) an educational role. • There is role confusion and lack of integration of the ED-based physiotherapist within the ED team Conclusion This review adds an in-depth human perspective to the current ED physiotherapy literature, which provides insight into how ED healthcare services and physiotherapy services specifically should be developed and delivered in the future. The knowledge from this review has implications for future education programmes, as well as development of both new care pathways and physiotherapy clinical roles. Research into ED-based physiotherapy services is predominantly quantitative. Despite the newness of the ED physiotherapy role, this review reveals that the provision of physiotherapists within EDs contributes value to both patients and staff. However, the dominance of Australian research means it is uncertain how it translates to the UK or elsewhere. There needs to be further UK-based research.

KeywordsPhysiotherapy; emergency department; systematic review; perceptions; experiences
Year2018
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Medicine
Journal citation11 (1)
PublisherSpringerOpen
ISSN1865-1372
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1186/s12245-018-0201-z
Publication dates
Print11 Oct 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Sep 2018
Accepted22 Sep 2018
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/86916

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