Exploring non-healthcare university students’ expectations, perceptions and beliefs of physiotherapy: A qualitative study
Study design: Qualitative research with semi-structured interviews and open-ended questions. Objectives: This study aims to understand and explore the source of expectations, beliefs and perceptions of non-clinical background undergraduate students with no clinical experience and with no pre-existing conditions. Background: Expectations and satisfaction of physiotherapy on therapeutic outcome are widely researched. However little studies have been done to understand the reasons behind the expectations of physiotherapy coming from a population that has no prior experience or medical condition. In understanding their expectation, it allows practitioners to better manage their expectations, resulting in patient satisfaction. Methods: Five participants were recruited via purposeful and snowballing sampling for semi-structured one to one interview. A single participant was recruited for the pilot test to ensure uniformity and rigidity of data collected. One to one interview consist of two case studies accompanied by open-ended questions. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Five themes with multiple subthemes were generated. The main themes are personal experiences, professional support, view between public and private sector, self-efficacy and importance of mass communication. Discussion: In the absence of personal experience, participants gather experiences from social circle and their limited knowledge to form an expectation to physiotherapy rehabilitation. It was concluded that knowledge on the profession is important in balancing the negative or positive experiences of others. Therefore, health literacy is crucial in ensuring the population has better knowledge of the profession to form realistic and fair expectations. Hence ensuring patient satisfaction and compliance to physiotherapy program.