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Musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging - An exploration of physiotherapists' interests and use in practice

Innes, Sue and Jackson, Jo (2019) 'Musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging - An exploration of physiotherapists' interests and use in practice.' Musculoskeletal Science and Practice. ISSN 2468-8630

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Background Musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging (MSKUSI) has gained popularity; several professions have expressed an interest in this application but the clinical use by physiotherapists has not been fully researched. Objectives To explore physiotherapists’ interests and use of MSKUSI in practice. Design Sequential mixed-methods; questionnaire followed by semi-structured interviews. Method A questionnaire was developed and distributed to gain initial information, (75 responses). Analysis informed topic-guide development and enabled a purposive-sampling strategy for semi-structured interviews that explored physiotherapists’ interests, education and clinical use of MSKUSI (n = 11). Interview data were analysed thematically. Results Five themes were identified: 1. Professional skill set – physiotherapists’ suitability for MSKUSI. 2. Factors that have impacted physiotherapists’ ability to use MSKUSI. 3. Physiotherapists’ motivation to use ultrasound - improving patient focused care. 4. Quality assurance strategies. 5. Application of biopsychosocial model. Themes revealed links between physiotherapists’ core skills, knowledge and professional experiences that align with MSKUSI requirements. Some participants reported support accessing education but many described challenges finding appropriate mentorship. Participants observed education did not always reflect practice typical of physiotherapists. Application of clinical reasoning processes utilised by physiotherapists was regarded as integral to patient-focused scanning. Conclusions Physiotherapists’ professional training and musculoskeletal practice are seen as a foundation for education in MSKUSI. Accessing education can be challenging, in particular mentorship that fully incorporates the biopsychosocial model. Proposed roles for MSKUSI for physiotherapists include verification of clinical assessment findings for diagnosis and facilitation of patient education. The potential to streamline patient pathways and optimise resource management warrants investigation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biopsychosocial, clinical reasoning, musculoskeletal ultrasound, Physiotherapy, Sonography
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2019 16:12
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 01:00

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