Physiotherapy decision making in acute cardiorespiratory care is influenced by factors related to physiotherapist and the nature and context of the decision: a qualitative study

Aust J Physiother. 2007;53(4):261-7. doi: 10.1016/s0004-9514(07)70007-7.


Questions: What factors influence the decision making of cardiorespiratory physiotherapists in acute care? How do cardiorespiratory physiotherapists manage multiple factors in their decision making?

Design: Qualitative study using observation and semi-structured interviews.

Participants: Fourteen physiotherapists working in acute cardiorespiratory care.

Results: Cardiorespiratory physiotherapy decision making was affected by factors related to the nature of the decision itself (such as the complexity and difficulty of the decision), factors related to the context in which the decision occurred (such as physical, organisational and socio-professional factors), and factors related to the physiotherapists themselves (such as decision making capabilities, physiotherapy frames of reference, and level of clinical experience).

Conclusion: Optimising the quality of decision making in the context of health care today requires an awareness and consideration of a range of factors influencing decision making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Decision Making*
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Heart Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Lung Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*