Patient experiences of their clinical management by Extended Scope Physiotherapists following attendance at an Orthopaedic Clinical Assessment Service.

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Anne Coyle
Christine Carpenter


Rationale: Extended Scope Physiotherapy (ESP) roles in the National Health Service (NHS) of the UK have, largely in response to delivery of NHS targets, increased over the last decade. The impact of the ESP role on patient experience is not clearly understood. To address this gap, this research aimed to explore patient experiences of their clinical management by ESP, following attendance at an Orthopaedic Clinical Assessment Service (OCAS).Method: This qualitative study was guided by a phenomenological approach. A purposive sampling technique was used and six participants, (three female and three male) recruited all of whom, within the previous month, had completed their episode of care with an ESP.  In–depth interviews were the primary method of data collection. The interviews were transcribed and the data analysed using a foundational thematic analysis process.Results: The three main themes were experiences of ESP services are shaped by prior expectations, the therapeutic relationship with the ESP and the individual’s evaluation of the impact of their interaction with the ESP on the presenting health problem.Conclusion: The study findings improve understanding of patient experiences of their clinical management by ESP and locally will inform OCAS service improvement. Future research that builds on these findings is required to explore the nature of the referral process, the cost-effectiveness and health benefits for patients of ESP services.

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