Objective: To identify factors influencing the retention of physiotherapists in one regional setting. Design: A qualitative framework using semi-structured interviews was used to collect data. Data were evaluated using thematic analysis. Setting: A regional city located on the coastline of Queensland, Australia, more than six hours drive from the capital city, Brisbane. Participants: Practicing physiotherapists employed by Queensland Health, the main public health employer. Main Outcome Measures: Retention themes identified from the interview transcripts. Results: The advantages of remaining employed in the regional city were centred on personal issues. Forty-four responses described personal advantages while 33 described professional advantages. The two most common advantages were remaining close to family and lifestyle and environment. Professional negative factors achieved a higher tally of 57 responses as compared to personal issues with only 24 responses. The two most common disadvantages described were professional issues including a lack of professional development and minimal supervision and support. All participants listed incentives requiring financial resourcing to improve retention. Conclusion: Negative work related factors were more significant when there is no personal connection to the community highlighting the importance addressing and maintaining a high level of professional satisfaction in order to retain clinicians.




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