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Physiotherapy studentsí experiences of working with people with dementia during their clinical placements: a qualitative study


Hunter, S and Callisaya, M and Lawler, K, Physiotherapy students' experiences of working with people with dementia during their clinical placements: a qualitative study, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice pp. 1-19. ISSN 0959-3985 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

DOI: doi:10.1080/09593985.2022.2028324


Purpose:To explore the experiences of physiotherapy students on working with people with dementia during their clinical placements.

Methods: Qualitative study using a Web-based survey of students in a 2-year entry-level Masters of Physical Therapy (MPT) program. Sstudents were asked to reflect on their experiences during clinical placements within the MPT program. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the survey responses.

Results: A total of 55 students (93%) completed the survey. Two overarching themes were mastery and inequity. Mastery described dementia care physiotherapy as a complex and potentially rewarding area of practice, requiring education and development throughout the professional continuum from student to expert. Inequity captured the barriers people with dementia experience to receiving excellent physiotherapy care. Six categories supported the themes: 1) physiotherapist characteristics for a successful therapeutic relationship; 2) communication strategies; 3) best practice physiotherapy skills and knowledge; 4) education strategies; 5) desire to work with people living with dementia; and 6) equity.

Conclusions: The study found physiotherapy students' experiences were informed by the preceptors' approach to delivery of care for people living with dementia. The students also articulated areas they wish they had known before placement and provided suggestions for teaching development in this area.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:physiotherapy, dementia, education, physical therapists, students, rehabilitation
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Allied health and rehabilitation science
Research Field:Physiotherapy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Higher education
UTAS Author:Callisaya, M (Dr Michele Callisaya)
UTAS Author:Lawler, K (Dr Katherine Lawler)
ID Code:148522
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2022-01-19
Last Modified:2022-11-02

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