Physiotherapy has become increasingly popular over recent years, with many people opting for alternative treatment rather than opting immediately into surgical treatment. Though, despite the many clinics that exist, this does not mean that all physiotherapy is the same, nor will it leave patients feeling equally satisfied. Studies from several institutes have shown that what a physiotherapist considers to be good, high quality, service may not necessarily be the best treatment for their respective patients. One report from the Australian Journal of Physiotherapy (2003), demonstrated this through a qualitative study where they surveyed a random selection of physiotherapy patients on the qualities of service they most valued during their consults.
From this study it was deduced that the top qualities of physiotherapy service include; Good Communication Skills Many patients stated that they did not understand the reasoning behind specific treatments or the way that exercises were meant to help them as their physiotherapist struggled to explain the theory behind the practice. As well, physiotherapists with a poor manner, attitude, or interpersonal skills seemed to lack professionalism and gave their patients a sense of uncertainty towards their treatments. This is because patients rely heavily on trusting their physiotherapists to provide correct diagnosis and treatment procedures, and through poor manner, this sense of trust can be diminished. Many of the patients who quoted having poor experiences also believed that their physiotherapist was unable to correctly teach them how to properly perform exercises and stretches. This meant that they were wary that they could potentially cause further pain or injury. Organisational Ability We all know how frustrating it is sitting in a waiting room well past your appointment time. However, what is more, surprising is how much this can diminish a patient's perception of the quality and level of service that they're receiving. Out of all the patient's surveyed, all cases whereby a therapist was running more than 10 minutes late without explanation significantly diminished their value towards the service. As well, on many occasions of negative experiences, the patient's noted that physiotherapists were ill-informed of the previous treatment they had administered. This denoted a sense of poor note-taking and can stimulate a sense of laziness or carelessness. Type of Treatment Provided No two people are the same. In a treatment sense, this means that no two people prefer the exact same style of treatment for their injuries or conditions. However, through the survey, it was evident that most patients prefer a hands-on approach to treatment rather than just talk and listen to the approach. In this sense, those who believed they had received a higher degree of treatment were those who practised their exercises under their physiotherapist's supervision or those who received some form of pre or post-consultation massage. For many patients, the service environment was also incredibly detrimental in determining if their physiotherapy treatment was of high or low quality. This means that there must be enough room for patients to move and exercise freely, but they're also must be enough privacy for patients to feel comfortable during their treatments.
Though there are many more factors that impacted the positive and negative experiences of the surveyed patients, these were the key factors that determined the attitude toward and willingness to return to the same physiotherapy service. Here at Bankstown Physiotherapy, we promote quality service as one of the most vital aspects of our clinic. From this, we strive to engage in constant learning and enjoy working on improving on all feedback that we receive. To find out more, visit our website or give us a call at 9793 3119.