Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 243-248

The emerging role of respiratory physiotherapy: A profile of the attitudes of nurses and physicians in Saudi Arabia

Discipline of Physiotherapy, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, Ireland

Correspondence Address:
Julie M Broderick
Discipline of Physiotherapy, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.191873

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Context: Respiratory physiotherapy plays a key role in the management and treatment of patients with respiratory diseases worldwide, yet this specialty is not well established in Saudi Arabia. Aims: To profile the attitudes among physicians and nurses toward physiotherapists working in respiratory care settings in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted. A questionnaire was developed consisting of 23 items, which was distributed both electronically and in paper form to physicians and nurses working in hospitals and health-care centers in Saudi Arabia. Physicians and nurses working outside of Saudi Arabia, and other health professionals, were excluded from the study. Results: A total of 284 questionnaires were returned (nurses: n = 158; physicians: n = 126). The majority believed that physiotherapists have the skills to be involved in respiratory care (79.9%, n = 226) and that physiotherapists are an important member of the Intensive Care Unit team (90.4%, n = 255). Most respondents (n = 232, 82.9%) felt in need of more information regarding the role of physiotherapy within respiratory care; significantly more nurses than physicians believed they needed additional education (P = 0.002). Specialized physicians were more likely than nonspecialized physicians to refer respiratory patients to physiotherapy (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Physiotherapy in respiratory care settings was positively regarded by nurses and physicians working in hospitals and health-care facilities in Saudi Arabia. The need for further education for physicians and nurses on the role of physiotherapy in respiratory care was highlighted; this would enable physiotherapy to develop and be further integrated into the respiratory care multidisciplinary team.

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