Janet Schmitt, Karen Akroyd, Linda Burke
International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, Vol. 19, Iss. 1, 09 Jan 2012, pp 23 - 30

Aims: A person-centred approach is a core component of health care policy and professional standards in the UK. The aims of this study were to explore perceptions of final year physiotherapy students of a person-centred approach in rehabilitation and compare students' views of person-centred to service users' views as found in the literature.
Methodology: A qualitative cross-sectional study was undertaken using elements of grounded theory. Data were collected from semi-structured focus group interviews and then analyzed using iterative content analysis.
Results: The principles of a person-centred approach raised by participants included: patient empowerment and choice; information and education for patients; holistic approach; individualization of interventions; and family/carers'/providers' roles. Results indicate that there are key distinctions between the principles of a person-centred approach in rehabilitation considered important by service users in the literature and those perceived as important by final year physiotherapy students.
Conclusions: Evidence suggests that the perceptions of the physiotherapy students are more closely aligned to the principles of a person-centred approach as defined by health care professionals, as compared to those defined by service users. Further research is required to ascertain the nature and prevalence of the power dynamic within the therapeutic relationship and its potential impact upon a person-centred approach to rehabilitation.

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