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When worlds collide: Experiences of physiotherapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths working together

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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment


Musculoskelet Sci Pract. 2022 Aug;60:102564.

Authors:

Joshua Toloui-Wallace , Roma Forbes, Oliver P Thomson, Jenny Setchell

Abstract.



Background: In Australia, people with musculoskeletal conditions frequently seek care from chiropractors, osteopaths, and physiotherapists. Intertwined histories, distinct philosophies and practical tensions characterise relationships between these three professions, yet little is known about contact or collaboration between individual clinicians.

Objectives: To explore the experiences of osteopaths, physiotherapists and chiropractors who work together in the same clinic location and explore their attitudes towards each other.

Methods: Utilising a predominantly inductive qualitative research design, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with a total of 13 clinicians (physiotherapists [n=6], chiropractors [n=2], osteopaths [n=4], dual-qualified chiropractor and physiotherapist [n=1]) who work with at least one clinician from the other two professions. Interviews were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.

Results: Data analysis produced two main themes and five sub-themes that characterised clinicians' experiences and attitudes: collaboration (collaborative practices; benefits of collaboration) and resisting tension (accepting similarities and differences to work towards shared goals; clinic culture; alignment with evidence-based practice). These findings can be understood in the context of the concepts of professional boundary-work and intergroup contact theory.

Conclusions: The findings from this study suggest that physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths that work together in the same clinic may collaborate while simultaneously navigating blurred professional lines. These results suggest that working together in the same clinic is a meaningful form of contact, which in turn allows for collaborative practices that may reduce intergroup tension between professions.

Publication Date: 

2022 Aug

OEID: 

3638

Toloui-wallace, J., Forbes, R., Thomson, PO., Setchell, J. (2022) 'When worlds collide: Experiences of physiotherapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths working together ', Musculoskelet Sci Pract. 2022 Aug;60:102564.

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