Perspectives on the treatment of sequelae after cancer: protocol of an interview study of primary care physiotherapists.

BMJ OPEN(2022)

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INTRODUCTION:An increasing number of patients are living with fatigue, pain and other sequelae after cancer. About 30% of these patients express a need for physical rehabilitation and patients prefer to be involved in medical decision-making. This includes being offered individualised treatment with patient-defined goals and education during all aspects of treatment by physiotherapists with empathic skills. However, physiotherapists are often unaware of the relationship between cancer and its presenting symptoms. This can lead to inappropriate care and unrealistic goalsetting for rehabilitation. This calls for greater attention towards physiotherapist's treatment and their current perspectives on how treatment can be improved in physiotherapy clinics. The aim of this study is to explore physiotherapists perspectives on barriers, facilitators and potential solutions to improve the care of sequelae after cancer in physiotherapy clinics. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:This is a qualitative interview study using individual semistructured interviews with physiotherapists using a phenomenological approach to explore their lifeworld at work. We will recruit physiotherapists working in private clinics based on a variation in gender and years of working experience in private clinics. We will conduct between 10 and 16 interviews online via Microsoft Teams and thematically analyse data supported by NVivo software. Interviewing is scheduled to take place from April 2022. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:This is a non-intervention and qualitative study, and the local Ethics Committee in the North Denmark Region has stated that their approval is not needed. Informants will provide a written informed consent. Study information will be sent to the informant at least 3 days prior to the interview session and information will be summarised by the interviewer before the interview.Aside from publication, results will be disseminated by two teaching institutions, a regional health care provider and DEFACTUM (a public Danish research institution focusing on increasing social equality in health).
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