TGI Friday! Our weekly round-up of recently published research abstracts | 24 June 2016

From Physiotherapy Practice and Research, 4 June 2016.

A study of UK physiotherapists’ knowledge and training needs in hypermobility and hypermobility syndrome

Lyell, M.J.(a)*, Simmonds, J.V.(b,c), Deane,J.A.(d)
(a) University of Hertfordshire, School of Health and Human Social Work, Hatfield, UK
(b) University College London, Institute of Child Health, London, UK
(c) Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, Hypermobility Unit, London
(d) Imperial College London, MSK Lab, School of Medicine, London, UK
Correspondence: [*] Corresponding author: M.J. Lyell, SCAS Office, Cumbria Villa, Chase Farm Hospital, 127 The Ridgeway, Enfield, Middlesex, EN2 8JL, UK. E-mail: miranda.lyell@beh-mht.nhs.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Physiotherapists play a fundamental role in managing adults with hypermobility and hypermobility syndrome (HMS). Access to training and its influence on the physiotherapy treatment of hypermobile adults is unknown.

OBJECTIVES

The purpose of this study was to: i) Explore UK physiotherapists’ knowledge of hypermobility and HMS in adults. ii) Establish the relationship between knowledge and training or experience. iii) Investigate the future training preferences of physiotherapists in this area.

DESIGN

A nationwide online survey

METHODS

A cross-sectional survey design collected quantitative and qualitative data. A validated hypermobility questionnaire was adapted and distributed as a self-administered electronic survey. A panel of expert practitioners confirmed face validity.

PARTICIPANTS

UK physiotherapists, experienced in treating adults with musculoskeletal conditions were invited to participate via purposive and snowball sampling of relevant professional networks and clinical interest groups

ANALYSIS

Microsoft Excel and SPSS were used to analyse data. Chi-squared analysis was used to explore relevant associations. Thematic coding of qualitative data was quantitatively analysed.

RESULTS

244 Physiotherapists participated. A significant association was found between training and knowledge of HMS (P < 0.001). Furthermore, training was associated with increased clinical confidence in both assessment (P < 0.001), and management (P < 0.001) of the condition. However, 51% of physiotherapists reported having no training in hypermobility, only 10% had undergone training in hypermobility at undergraduate level and 95% requested further training. CONCLUSION There are significant gaps in training received by UK physiotherapists’ in the assessment and management of HMS, despite the significant association observed between training and the degree of clinical confidence and knowledge reported.


From Social Science and Medicine, 18 June 2016

“You get to know the people and whether they’re talking sense or not”: Negotiating trust on health-related forums

Ellen Brady, Julia Segar, Caroline Sanders
University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Highlights

• The use of online forums by individuals with LTCs is a complex and nuanced process.
• Participants trust those with similar experiences and perspectives as themselves.
• Users can access a personalised form of support based on the experiences of peers.
• Role of digital literacy in developing online relationships must be acknowledged.

Abstract

The internet is increasingly being used as a source of health advice and information by individuals with long term conditions (LTCs). Specifically, online forums allow people to interact with others with similar conditions. However, it is not clear how online health information is assessed by those with LTCs.

This study aims to address this gap by exploring how individuals with contested and uncontested LTCs utilise internet forums. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 participants with ME/CFS and 21 participants with type 1 and 2 diabetes and analysed using thematic analysis.

Participants were recruited via online and offline routes, namely forums, email lists, newsletters, and face-to-face support groups.

The findings indicate that the use of online forums was a complex and nuanced process and was influenced by a number of individual and illness-specific factors. Participants trusted those with similar experiences and perspectives as themselves, while also valuing conventional biomedical information and advice.

By accessing support online, forum users were able to draw on a personalised form of support based on the lived experiences of their peers. However, the role of digital literacy in developing and maintaining online relationships must be acknowledged.


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