Original Research

Knowledge, perception and attitude of patient safety amongst clinical year physiotherapy students in Ghana

Samuel-Jerry S. Atakora, Jonathan Quartey, Samuel K. Kwakye
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 77, No 1 | a1499 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v77i1.1499 | © 2021 Samuel-Jerry S. Atakora, Jonathan Quartey, Samuel K. Kwakye | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 May 2020 | Published: 19 February 2021

About the author(s)

Samuel-Jerry S. Atakora, Department of Physiotherapy, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana
Jonathan Quartey, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
Samuel K. Kwakye, Department of Physiotherapy, West Africa Football Academy, Sogakope, Ghana


Background: Patient safety is a part of healthcare that is not only important in the delivery of healthcare but also in the training of healthcare professionals. It is a key component of physiotherapy treatment which, when underrated, can result in more harm than good.

Objective: To determine the level of knowledge, perception and attitude of patient safety amongst physiotherapy students.

Method: Eighty clinical year physiotherapy students from the University of Ghana and the University of Health and Allied Sciences were recruited for this cross-sectional study. Data were obtained using the World Health Organization Medical School Curricular Guide for Patient Safety questionnaire. Pearson Chi-square was used to test for association between the level of study of participants and their knowledge on patient safety.

Results: Of the eighty (80) respondents, there were 41 women (52.1%) and 39 men (48.8%) in our study. Majority of the respondents (97.5%) had a moderate level of knowledge on patient safety. There was no significant association between the level of study and knowledge of clinical year physiotherapy students on patient safety (p = 0.712).

Conclusion: Clinical year physiotherapy students in Ghana have a moderate level of knowledge on the concept of patient safety. Restructuring of the physiotherapy curriculum to specifically cover the concept of patient safety would be beneficial to its promotion in the healthcare system.

Clinical implications: The outcomes of our study may motivate physiotherapy students to put in additional effort that could facilitate the translation of positive attitudes that have been shown to be effective in reducing errors and promoting patient safety.


physiotherapy; education; clinical year; healthcare; human error; patient safety


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Crossref Citations

1. The status and the factors that influence patient safety in health care institutions in Africa: A systematic review
Kennedy Diema Konlan, Jinhee Shin, Mohamed Salama
PLOS Global Public Health  vol: 2  issue: 12  first page: e0001085  year: 2022  
doi: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0001085