P.R. Ranjith Narayan1, T.V. Deepak2, N. Zulfikri2
1Self Employed, Physiotherapy, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 2Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Physiotherapy, Kualalumpur, Malaysia

Background: In recent years, the scope of mental health care in the general practice of physiotherapy has been universally recognized. The implications of the biopsychosocial model in the physiotherapy profession have made a breakthrough in formulating psychiatric and mental health interventions in rehabilitation. However, the majority of physiotherapy professionals have yet to prepare themselves to be part of this shift. Perhaps, they have overlooked or neglected to address the comorbid mental health issues which often accompany physical impairments. Despite the existing research on mental health and physiotherapy, very few studies have attempted in western countries to explore the implementation of Biopsychosocial models in physiotherapy. In response to the gap, the current study explored the perception of the implementation of the biopsychosocial model in Indian physiotherapy clinical practices and its barriers.

Purpose: To identify the Indian physiotherapist's perception, confidence, and barriers towards the application of psychosocial practice in their clinical sessions.

Methods: Cross-sectional study design was used to identify and quantify the perception towards psychosocial interventions among Indian physiotherapists. In this study Physiotherapists working in both government and private sectors with bachelor’s degrees as the minimum qualification was included.  The “Triple P” questionnaire was used in this study and the questionnaire is divided into confidence, the routine practice of specific psychosocial skills, and barriers. Each question has 5 levels of options.

Results: A total of 427 clinical physiotherapists are responded to the online survey and data were analyzed descriptively and the Pearson’s correlation coefficient was calculated between the psychosocial management and barriers. The analysis shows that there is a significant correlation between the above domains in the questionnaire (r=0.76). The result shows that lack of formal psychosocial assessment and management training in an undergraduate program, poor organizational support, and time-constrained in daily clinical practice were the major barriers for psycho-social practice.

Conclusion(s): This evidence suggests that there is a need to integrate the psychosocial components in the physiotherapy curriculum to uplift the standard of practice and reduce the cost to the healthcare system. Furthermore, extensive exploratory research required to strengthen the ongoing education and clinical practice in Physiotherapy.

Implications: In view of current results, we recommend identifying the possibilities to integrate various psychosocial interventions to address and manage mental health comorbidities. Thereby it enhances the outlook of disabilities and challenges in the current physiotherapy clinical practice.

Funding, acknowledgements: Self-funded.

Keywords: Biopsychosocial model, Physiotherapy, Mental Health

Topic: Mental health

Did this work require ethics approval? Yes
Committee: UTAR Scientific and Ethical Review Committee
Ethics number: U/SERC/75/2020

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

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