Trummer, G, Stephens, R and Washmuth, NB (2023) A PHYSICAL THERAPIST WHO SWEARS: A CASE SERIES. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine - Clinical Communications, 6. 10277 - ?. ISSN 2003-0711

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OBJECTIVE: Swearing deserves attention in the physical therapy setting due to its potential positive psychological, physiological, and social effects. The purpose of this case series is to describe 2 cases in which a physical therapist swears in the clinical setting and its effect on therapeutic alliance. PATIENTS: Case 1 is a 19-year-old male treated for a hamstring strain, and case 2 is a 23-year-old male treated post-operatively for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The physical therapist utilized social swearing in the clinic with the goal of motivating the patient and enhancing the social connection with the patient, to improve therapeutic alliance. RESULTS: The patient in case 1 reported a decrease in therapeutic alliance after the physical therapist began swearing during physical therapy treatments, whereas the patient in case 2 reported an increase in therapeutic alliance. Both patients disagreed that physical therapist swearing is unprofessional and disagreed that swearing is offensive, and both patients agreed physical therapists should be able to swear around their patients. CONCLUSION: Physical therapist swearing may have positive and negative influences in the clinic setting and may not be considered unprofessional. These are, to our knowledge, the first published cases of a physical therapist swearing in the clinical setting.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published by Medical Journals Sweden, on behalf of the Foundation for Rehabilitation Information. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC925 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 23 May 2023 09:34
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 09:41

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