Movement as a basic concept in physiotherapy--a human science approach

Physiother Theory Pract. 2012 Aug;28(6):428-38. doi: 10.3109/09593985.2012.692582.


The development of scientific knowledge of physiotherapy (PT) has advanced significantly. Research is mostly conducted within a biomedical paradigm and theory-building is underpinned by a positivist paradigm. The basic philosophical questions and concepts are not much reflected on, and PT lacks an established theoretical frame. The first step in theory development is to define the basic concepts. The aim of this professional theoretical paper was to reflect on and describe the concept of movement in PT based on earlier research as a standpoint for a broader and deeper understanding of the complex nature of PT reality inspired by a model for concept analysis developed in caring science [Eriksson K 2010 Concept determination as part of the development of knowledge in caring science. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 24: 2-11]. The concept of movement in PT is conceptualized as complex and multidimensional. The understanding of human movement in PT is based on five categories described in the paper. The conceptualization of movement includes acting in relation to the socio-cultural environment, inter-dynamic aspects, as well as personal, intradynamic aspects. This paper argues for the need to further develop the concept of movement in PT within a human science approach. A deeper understanding is needed as a basis for understanding complex clinical practice as well as in shaping the PT discipline.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Biomedical Research
  • Comprehension
  • Concept Formation
  • Culture
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Movement*
  • Patients / psychology
  • Physical Therapists / psychology*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Physical Therapy Specialty*
  • Professional Practice*
  • Professional Role / psychology*
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Social Environment