Exploring the business skills, experiences and preparedness of UK-based private physiotherapists when establishing and developing a physiotherapy business: A hermeneutic phenomenological study

Elizabeth Emily Watson, Catherine J. Minns Lowe

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Abstract

Aim
To explore the business skills, experiences and preparedness of UK-based private physiotherapists when establishing and developing a physiotherapy business.

Design
A hermeneutic phenomenological approach.

Participants
Six UK-based private physiotherapy practice owners were recruited via purposive and snowball sampling.

Methods
In-depth, semi-structured video interviews (n = 12) were audio-recorded and transcribed. Field notes, respondent validation and a reflexive diary were used. Data underwent line-by-line analysis, identifying codes and themes. Constant comparison of data, codes and themes occurred throughout. Peer review was utilised, and small sections of data and all emerging codes were independently reviewed.

Results
Knowledge acquisition: participants acquired business knowledge from training, external help, and trial-and-error approaches. Improved physiotherapy-related business training was requested. Business skills: Business plans were generally organic or lapsed with time. Success and timing of marketing strategies varied widely. The altruistic nature of many physiotherapists creates difficulties in requesting payments for services. Clinical policies: Lone working risks appeared more weighted towards protecting staff from physical abuse rather than allegations.

Conclusions
Improved physiotherapy-related business support and guidance may be beneficial. Focusing on word-of-mouth, website marketing, and establishing support networks may benefit practice owners. Greater consideration of the potentially negative implications of lone working, particularly accusations of inappropriate sexual behaviour, is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102694
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalMusculoskeletal Science and Practice
Volume63
Early online date29 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Hermeneutics
  • Physiotherapy
  • Private practice
  • Qualitative

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