Original Research

Knowledge, awareness and use of current practice of palliative care amongst physiotherapists

Abdulsalam M. Yakasai, Sonil S. Maharaj, Umar M. Gidado, Jibril M. Nuhu, Sani A. Haruna, Musa S. Danazumi
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 79, No 1 | a1786 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v79i1.1786 | © 2023 Abdulsalam M. Yakasai, Sonill S. Maharaj, Umar M. Gidado, Jibril M. Nuhu, Sani A. Haruna, Musa S. Danazumi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 February 2022 | Published: 10 October 2023

About the author(s)

Abdulsalam M. Yakasai, Discipline of Physiotherapy, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Sonil S. Maharaj, Discipline of Physiotherapy, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Umar M. Gidado, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
Jibril M. Nuhu, Discipline of Physiotherapy, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; and, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
Sani A. Haruna, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Maitama Sule University, Kano, Nigeria
Musa S. Danazumi, Department of Physiotherapy, Federal Medical Center, Nguru, Nigeria; and, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia

Abstract

Background: Recently, there has been a marked increase in the incidence of cancer, HIV, and other noncommunicable diseases globally. Thus, the demand for palliative care (PC), including end-of-life care, continues to grow worldwide. Physiotherapy has an important role in PC as it aims to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life by optimising independent levels of function.

Objective: To assess the level of knowledge, awareness and current practice of PC amongst Nigerian physiotherapists in clinical practice.

Method: Our study used a cross-sectional descriptive census-based method and recruited practising physiotherapists in Nigeria. An electronic questionnaire was used to collect data over 12 weeks, comprising 36 semistructured questions in four domains: personal information, knowledge, awareness and current practices regarding PC. Data were analysed using a pragmatist paradigm.

Results: Of the 426 physiotherapists who participated, 50% (n = 213) had a postgraduate degree, 49.5% (n = 211) had a bachelor’s degree and 0.5% (n = 2) had a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. The results also indicate that 73.9% (n = 315) of the participants had sufficient knowledge about PC, 80.5% (n = 343) had a sufficient level of awareness about PC and 66.7% (n = 284) were using current clinical practices in the rehabilitation of critically ill patients or those with chronic conditions.

Conclusion: It was concluded that most Nigerian physiotherapists had sufficient knowledge and awareness about PC and were involved in the management of patients requiring PC physiotherapy.

Clinical implication: It can be understood that a large proportion of Nigerian physiotherapists have clinical experience managing patients requiring PC, despite inadequate formal training in this field.


Keywords

palliative care physiotherapy; knowledge; awareness; current practice; physiotherapists

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