Vader, K, Donnelly, C, French, SD, Grady, C, Hill, JC, Tripp, DA, Williams, A and Miller, J (2022) Implementing a new physiotherapist-led primary care model for low back pain: a qualitative study of patient and primary care team perspectives. BMC Primary Care, 23 (1). 201 - ?. ISSN 2731-4553

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BACKGROUND: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common reasons for primary care visits and is the leading contributor to years lived with disability worldwide. The purpose of this study was to understand the perspectives of patients and primary care team members related to their experiences with a new physiotherapist-led primary care model for LBP. METHODS: We conducted an interpretive description qualitative study. Data were collected using a combination of semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions and analyzed using thematic analysis. Participants included adults (> 18 years of age) with LBP and primary care team members who participated in a physiotherapist-led primary care model for LBP in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. RESULTS: We conducted 18 semi-structured interviews with patients with LBP (10 women; median age of 52) as well as three focus group discussions with a total of 20 primary care team members representing three teams. Four themes (each with sub-themes) were constructed: 1) enhanced primary care delivery for LBP (improved access and engagement in physiotherapy care, improved communication and care integration between the physiotherapist and primary care team, less inappropriate use of healthcare resources); 2) positive patient experiences and perceived outcomes with the new model of care (physiotherapist built therapeutic alliance, physiotherapist provided comprehensive care, improved confidence in managing LBP, decreased impact of pain on daily life); 3) positive primary care team experiences with the new model of care (physiotherapist fit well within the primary care team, physiotherapist provided expertise on LBP for the primary care team, satisfaction in being able to offer a needed service for patients); and 4) challenges implementing the new model of care (challenges with prompt access to physiotherapy care, challenges making the physiotherapist the first contact for LBP, and opportunities to optimize communication between the physiotherapist and primary care team). CONCLUSIONS: A new physiotherapist-led primary care model for LBP was described by patients and primary care team members as contributing to positive experiences and perceived outcomes for patients, primary care team members, and potentially the health system more broadly. Results suggest that this model of care may be a viable approach to support integrated and guideline adherent management of LBP in primary care settings.

Item Type: Article
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Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology > Physical medicine. Physical therapy. Including massage, exercise, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, phototherapy, radiotherapy, thermotherapy, electrotherapy
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
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Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2022 13:37
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2022 13:37

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