Last week we asked what kind of Critical Physiotherapy Course format you would be most interested in next year. Here are the results: 23 people voted for one of the four options. 9 voted for the idea of using clinical scenarios as the basis for thinking through theories and ideas. 7 voted for inviting non-physiotherapy speakers to introduce us to unfamiliar ideas and theories. 4 for using YouTube videos of theories and ideas as a prompt for discussion. And 3 for inviting clients/patients to present as a starting point to thinking through theories and ideas. What does this tell us? Perhaps firstly that people are still struggling to find the practical use for … [Read more...] about Should a Critical Physiotherapy Course be practically useful?
There is a lot of poor qualitative research out there. Recently I reviewed an article in which the authors had spent three years studying people's experiences of chronic pain. They didn't identify any particular philosophy guiding their analysis, they just interviewed seven people and, somehow, came up with three 'themes': that pain was unpleasant; that it was aversive (something to be avoided); and it disrupted their lives. This is a good example of bad qualitative research. And there is a simple test you can apply if ever you're in doubt. All you need to do is to ask whether the research tells you anything you didn't already know. This study took three years, but told us … [Read more...] about Patient work
A recent study in Physiotherapy Canada looked to try to identify core physiotherapy professional values from both primary and grey literature and the views of physiotherapists attending the 2016 CPA Congress. The findings of the study perhaps unsurprising, with 10 values coming out most strongly: accountabilityadvocacyaltruismcompassion and caringequityexcellenceintegritypatient and client centredrespectsocial responsibility What is interesting about these values is not so much that they are stated at all - after all, most established health professions could and do claim similar values - but rather how they are acquired. Physiotherapy training programmes go to inordinate amounts … [Read more...] about Professional values
The sociologist Anthony Giddens has commented that in the future, the 'normal' body may only be the most basic form of embodiment available to us, and that bodily enhancements like eyes that can zoom, ears with extended hearing range, and designer prosthetic limbs to supplement today's spectacles and hearing aids will vastly extend the bodies of those who can afford them. Some of these innovations sound farfetched, but there's no doubt that the ability to shape and enhance our bodies will be attractive to many people, and will have a big impact on physiotherapy work. If it's possible in the future to have a fully autonomous transport network, it's likely to put an end to most head … [Read more...] about Second skin
A couple of weeks ago, an editorial appeared in Physical Therapy that gave a very strong justification for the use of qualitative research by physiotherapists. It’s somewhat surprising, these days, that qualitative research even needs defending, but the authors - Alan Jette, Clare Delany, and Mari Lundberg - gave a very clear and concise overview of some of its principles and virtues, citing authors well known to many of you. As part of the review, Jette, Delany and Lundberg kindly singled out the first critical physiotherapy reader - Manipulating Practices for special attention. Here is what they wrote about the book: If readers of PTJ would like to explore some outstanding … [Read more...] about The value of qualitative research
Over the last few weeks, we've been running a series of posts on the biomedical model. This approach, perhaps more than any other, forms the solid foundations for a lot of physiotherapy theory and practice, so it makes sense to try to understand it better. Here are the links to all the respective posts that make up the complete set: What is the biomedical model #1 - introduction and specific aetiology#2 - germ theory#3 - Cartesian dualism#4 - experimentation#5 - reductionism#6 - normalisation#7 - body-as-machine Critique of the biomedical model #1 - mind-body dualism#2 - medical power#3 - what it means to be a person#4 - standard deviation#5 - (ab)normal … [Read more...] about The biomedical model – for better or worse
So far in this short series on the problems with the biomedical model we’ve looked at the mind-body separation, biomedicine’s claims to objectivity and access to the truth about health and illness, it’s construction of atomistic individuality, and last week, the problematic nature of normalisation. In this post we’ll look at the passivity that biomedicine engenders in patients. Biomedicine is a powerful discourse and it has brought enormous power and social capital not only to the medical profession, but also to those who practice in its image. One of the most widely voiced critiques of medicine is that it is hegemonic (or dominant not through force but a degree of consent and … [Read more...] about Critique of the biomedical model #5