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Abstract

Background: Interprofessional collaboration is a complex process defined by the relationships and interactions between health practitioners from diverse professional backgrounds. Although the benefits of a collaborative health workforce are widely acknowledged, it is currently poorly understood to what extent private physiotherapy practitioners engage in interprofessional collaboration as a part of their clinical practice, and whether they consider to be adequately trained in this area. Information regarding the frequency, modes of communication, and perceived level of satisfaction associated with private physiotherapy practitioners’ interprofessional interactions is also limited. Purpose: The aim of this paper is to describe the development of a survey instrument that can be used to explore the characteristics of Australian private physiotherapy practitioners’ interprofessional interactions. Methods: A multiphase process was used to develop the survey instrument. The research team conducted a literature search which resulted in the generation of 34 individual survey items. After the initial pool of survey items was developed, three experienced physiotherapists were invited to review the items. The draft survey instrument was then subject to online testing with private physiotherapy practitioners to evaluate the utility of the instrument. Results: All three physiotherapists invited to review the initial pool of survey items provided written feedback to the research team. Following revision, five private physiotherapy practitioners participated in pilot testing the survey instrument. Pilot testing revealed that approximately 10 minutes was required to complete the online survey. Conclusions: The final survey instrument has 29 questions in six sections with categorical, Likert and free text response options and can be used to explore the characteristics of Australian private physiotherapy practitioners’ interprofessional interactions. Information obtained from future research projects utilising this survey may guide the development of effective interventions aimed at enhancing the nature and quality of clinical interactions between private physiotherapy practitioners and other health practitioners working in Australia.

Author Bio(s)

ack A. Seaton, BPhty (Hons), is a PhD Candidate in the College of Healthcare Sciences and Lecturer within the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. He is also a registered physiotherapist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Anne L. Jones, BSc (Phty), MPhty (Rural Remote Area Studies), PhD, is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Physiotherapy discipline at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia.

Catherine L. Johnston, BAppSc (Phty), MAppSc (Cardiopulm Phty), PhD, is a Senior Lecturer and Clinical Education Manager/Physiotherapy Program Convenor at The University of Newcastle in Callaghan, Australia.

Karen L. Francis, BHealthSc (Nsg), MHlth Sc (PHC), MEd, PhD, is a Professor and Head of the Nursing discipline at The University of Tasmania in Launceston, Australia.

Acknowledgements

This research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship (RTPS). No specific funding or material support of any kind was received for the work described in this article.

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