Exploration of physiotherapists' motivations to embark upon taught master's level study
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Glover, P. & Bulley, C. () Exploration of physiotherapists' motivations to embark upon taught master's level study, , , , ,
Background: Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a professional responsibility for allied health professionals1. Post-qualifying study is one means of meeting CPD requirements, which may partially explain why the uptake of physiotherapy-related Masters level study (MLS) is increasing2. However, there is a lack of literature investigating why physiotherapists undertake MLS. This research attempted to address this gap in the literature by exploring the motivations of physiotherapist to embark upon taught physiotherapy-related Masters study. Method: Following appropriate ethical approval, a purposive sample of 9 volunteers (8 female, 1 male, mean age: 36 7.29) was recruited. A qualitative, interpretative, phenomenological study was undertaken with the assumption that reality is individual and all viewpoints are valid. Individual, semi- structured interviews (mean time: 67 minutes) were conducted using an interview schedule. Questions were derived from a review of motivational literature, developmental interviews, and expert approval. Interviews were transcribed verbatim. Following member-checking and peer review, Key Themes were inductively derived from the context and interpretation of the transcripts. Results: Four Key Themes emerged that described the facilitators to commence MLS in different environments: social, educational, clinical, and working. These themes provided an integrated overview of the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for this group of physiotherapists to undertake their MLS. Some participants indicated that a settled domestic life and future plans influenced their timing of MLS commencement. Personal and professional development was identified as a major motivator for participants, as were encouragement and inspiration from colleagues with experience of Masters study. Conclusions: The experiences of this group of physiotherapists suggest that the factors motivating them to undertake MLS were varied and individualised. Their motivators could be practical, personal or professional in nature. There are possible implications for both educational providers and employers to promote the benefits of MLS and to invest in support structures to facilitate its commencement.