The physiotherapy experience in private practice: the patients' perspective

Aust J Physiother. 2003;49(3):195-202. doi: 10.1016/s0004-9514(14)60239-7.


The aim of this study was to identify the qualities of a "good" physiotherapist and to ascertain the characteristics of good and bad experiences in private practice physiotherapy from the patients' perspective. The nominal group technique was implemented with separate groups of patients (n = 26) and revealed that communication ability, professional behaviour and organisational ability, and characteristics of the service provided were the main qualities of a "good" physiotherapist. In particular, communication ability of the physiotherapist was ranked first or second in importance by all groups of patients. Good experiences in physiotherapy were most often attributed to effective communication by the physiotherapist, while bad experiences most often related to dissatisfaction with the service followed by poor physiotherapist communication. Based on the findings from this study, we suggest physiotherapists should actively seek to involve patients in their management. To do this effectively, physiotherapists would benefit from further training in communication skills to ensure that they can successfully adopt a patient-centred approach and to optimise the physiotherapist-patient interaction in private practice physiotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / psychology*
  • Physical Therapy Specialty / organization & administration*
  • Private Practice*
  • Professional Role
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Social Perception
  • Western Australia