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Multidimensional scaling analysis of techniques used by physiotherapists in Southeast Australia: a cross-national replication.

Authors
  • Turner, Patricia
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Australian journal of physiotherapy
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2002
Volume
48
Issue
2
Pages
123–130
Identifiers
PMID: 12047210
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Much of the research concerning techniques used by physiotherapists has focused upon electrothermal agents, so neglecting fundamental questions concerning practice and differences in technique use. A recent study in England addressed these deficits, and determined that techniques were used in ordered combinations, which differentiate the profession into 'typologies' or specialities. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether a similar picture would emerge in Australia, and to determine the type and extent of technique use amongst Australian physiotherapists. This replication study comprised a questionnaire survey of 141 hospital physiotherapists working in Southeast Australia. Information concerning the range and frequency of techniques used over the preceding six months was obtained. Descriptive analyses indicated high frequency use of exercise therapy, manipulation, heat packs, massage and ultrasound. Multidimensional scaling revealed a clear structure concerning combination use of techniques, and a coherent typology based on this usage. Differentiation of the profession according to the typologies supports the specialist areas identified in England, namely respiratory, neurological and orthopaedic/musculoskeletal physiotherapy. A further subdivision of the latter was possible in Australia, with the emergence of both a manipulative speciality, and an exercise rehabilitation speciality. While this study confirms the findings of the earlier research, it identifies important differences in practice between Australia and England.

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