Communication & Medicine, Vol 11, No 2 (2014)

Utilization of patient resources in physiotherapy interventions: Analysis of the interaction concerning non-specific low back pain

Iréne Josephson, Pia Bülow
Issued Date: 17 Aug 2015


This paper reports on an empirical study in Sweden of how patient resources come into play in physiotherapy interventions. A qualitative analysis was conducted of five videorecorded first encounters between patients with non-specific low back pain (NSLBP) and physiotherapists in primary care, using Conservation of Resource Theory (COR) to identify and focus on how physiotherapists made use of patients’ resources (objects, conditions, personal characteristics and energies). The findings reveal variations in how these resources are utilized during the intervention. Resources with implications for what happens in the examination room during the ongoing encounter and resources characterized by professional familiarity were both employed in the intervention. However, underutilized resources were featured in the broader lifeworld perspective of laypeople and of other professional frames. The findings raise questions about professional challenges that go beyond professional skills. This implies that professionals need to improve skills in understanding and integrating patient resources into interventions.

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DOI: 10.1558/cam.v11i2.16694


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