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C. Adeosun1,2, C. Nwodo3, N.J. Awusionu4
1Ministry of Defence, Medical, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Military Hospital, Physiotherapy/Quality Improvement, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, 3University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Physiotherapy, Benin City, Nigeria, 4Military Hospital, Physiotherapy, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Background: Involving patients and their family in providing care is considered one of the key elements of promoting positive health outcomes, improving quality of care, patient experience and satisfaction. Patient engagement in healthcare system and service delivery has become an important improvement tool. Evidence suggests that patients are no longer passive but co-creators of care. However, to engage patients in their care we first need to assess physiotherapists knowledge and experience of patient engagement principles and tools. 

Purpose: As part of a larger study on quality improvement in physiotherapy practice, this study explores the knowledge and experience physiotherapists have of patient engagement as a quality improvement tool in physiotherapy care in Nigeria.  

Methods: A self-assessment tool developed using the IHI patient engagement framework was distributed to physiotherapists in their conference. The tool assessed their knowledge and experience about patient-centred care in their organization. Data was collected on the concepts of dignity and honour, information sharing, patient participation and organizational culture. Qualitative data were collected using structured self-reported questions on perceived facilitators and barriers to patient engagement. Descriptive statistical analysis and thematic framework analysis were applied to the data.

Results: All the participants (n=99) believe in respect and dignity for patients. Data showed that 83.5% honour and respect patient’s choices and give room for them to decide their care; 90.5% believes in information sharing with patients while 85.5% always ask their patients what was important to them. Only 77.5% seek patient and family feedback to improve the quality of care and departmental operations performance while 98.5% believe in patient participation.

Conclusion(s): The study reveals that most patients receiving physiotherapy are involved in their care at the individual level of engagement. Future work on the acceptance and the role of patients at the organizational level is advocated. Patient opinions are also needed to corroborate the findings from this survey. The study contributes to the literature on patient engagement and quality improvement in developing countries.  

Implications: For policy makers: The Federal Ministry of Health and relevant agencies should demonstrate leadership in policy development and implementation to encourage patient engagement at all levels of care and rehabilitation.
For researchers: Local research on the acceptance and the role of patients at the organizational level is advocated.
For practitioners: Patient engagement principles utilisation and provision of qualitative physiotherapy care are mutually inclusive.

Funding, acknowledgements: None

Keywords: Patient Engagement, Quality care, Research Study

Topic: Professional practice: other

Did this work require ethics approval? No
Institution: The organisers approved the survey distribution.
Committee: None
Reason: This was a survey research study with no experiment or intervention intended at any stage. However, participants consent was obtained.

All authors, affiliations and abstracts have been published as submitted.

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