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Table of Contents
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-45

Comparison of awareness of physiotherapy among health professionals and nonhealth professionals in Dharwad District, Karnataka, India – A survey analysis


1 Department of Community Based Rehabilitation, Kengal Hanumanthaiah Institute of Physiotherapy, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, USM-KLE-International Medical Program, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Statistics, KLE Society's P. C. Jobin Science College (Autonomous), Hubballi, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission06-Nov-2021
Date of Decision08-Jun-2022
Date of Acceptance27-Jun-2022
Date of Web Publication30-Jul-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohan Anantarao Sunkad
Department of Community Medicine, USM-KLE-International Medical Program, Nehrunagar, Belgaum, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijptr.ijptr_63_21

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  Abstract 


Context: In the present-day health-care system scenario, physiotherapy has attained an essential component. The knowledge of physiotherapy and its treatment modalities is known to some extent only in metropolitan cities and towns.
Aim: Hence, an attempt has been made to assess the awareness of physiotherapy among health professionals and nonhealth professionals in urban and rural population of Dharwad district.
Settings and Design: A survey analysis conducted on Urban and Rural population of Dharwad, Karnataka, India.
Materials and Methods: A convenience sample of 2000 individuals, in which 1000 individuals each with 500 professionals and 500 nonprofessionals were selected from urban and rural population of Dharwad. Data were collected through self and pretested questionnaires related to awareness of physiotherapy among health professionals and nonhealth professionals. Data were analyzed with an independent t-test and significance was set at a 95% level confidence interval (P < 0.05).
Statistical Analysis Used: Karl Pearson's product-moment technique has been applied to find out the reliability.
Results: The awareness of physiotherapy is better among health professionals as compared to the nonhealth professionals and statistically significant, t = 28.3221 (P < 0.05). The awareness of physiotherapy was better among urban nonhealth professionals as compared to rural nonhealth professionals and it was statistically significant, t = 3.8198, (P < 0.05). The awareness of physiotherapy was better among urban health professionals as compared to rural health professionals and it was statistically significant, t = 13.6710 (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: The awareness of physiotherapy was better among urban health professionals and nonhealth professionals as compared to rural health professionals and nonhealth professionals.

Keywords: Awareness, Health and nonhealth professionals, Physiotherapy


How to cite this article:
Shruti T, Javali S B, Sunkad MA, Math C M. Comparison of awareness of physiotherapy among health professionals and nonhealth professionals in Dharwad District, Karnataka, India – A survey analysis. Indian J Phys Ther Res 2022;4:41-5

How to cite this URL:
Shruti T, Javali S B, Sunkad MA, Math C M. Comparison of awareness of physiotherapy among health professionals and nonhealth professionals in Dharwad District, Karnataka, India – A survey analysis. Indian J Phys Ther Res [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 27];4:41-5. Available from: https://www.ijptr.org/text.asp?2022/4/1/41/353021




  Introduction Top


The treatment of disease is an age-old process to relieve pain, discomfort, and restoration of health. In other words, the treatment of diseases is an enlargement of life and increases human capacity and physical, mental, and social well-being.[1] Physiotherapy is a health care profession that utilizes the art and science of using physical agents such as heat, cold, light, electrical stimulation, electromagnetic waves, manual therapy, and mechanical forces for physical therapy diagnosis and treatment.[2] Physiotherapy has four distinct features namely – promotion of health, prevention of illness, restoration of health, and rehabilitation services. Today, it has attained autonomous status among health sciences.

Today, many diseases and accidental injuries leave a residual impairment without full recovery and it requires physiotherapy treatment. Hence, the demands for physiotherapy are ever-increasing.

The physiotherapist thinks that his disabled patient is a member of the family, a wage earner who has children and stayed with them before coming to the physiotherapists. It is the responsibility of a physiotherapist to rehabilitate these disabled patients. The role of rehabilitation is to minimize disability to lead useful life within his limitation, to make a disabled person into a “differently abled person.” The physiotherapist is able to screen out all the disabled people in the community and he will also assess the medical and surgical interventions. The physiotherapist is usually concerned with issues of mobility, management of pain edema, and trained the patients in the use of orthotics and gait aids.

The awareness of physiotherapy is very essential to every individual in society because many diseases and abnormalities today require not only traditional medical treatment but also require physiotherapy treatment, without which the treatment of any diseases may be incomplete. Furthermore, in some conditions such as cerebral palsy, stroke, polio, and Bell's palsy require more of physiotherapy treatment in the later stages of the disease. Hence, it is necessary to create awareness of physiotherapy in both urban and rural areas.[3]

The physiotherapist is an important rehabilitation member in various international health agencies such as the WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO, and UNDP.[4] Due to rapid industrialization, more and more industries are coming up in India and accidents are very common in most of the industries. These accidents are mainly due to mechanical causes.[5] The disabilities caused by mechanical causes can be prevented and treated by establishing a safety department in each industrial establishment under the guidance of competent physiotherapists.[6],[7],[8]

The knowledge of physiotherapy and usage of treatment modalities is mostly known to some extent in metropolitan cities and towns only.[9],[10],[11],[12] The awareness of physiotherapy is very essential to every individual in society because many diseases and abnormalities today require not only traditional medical treatment but also require physiotherapy treatment, without which the treatment of any diseases may be incomplete.[13],[14],[15] Furthermore, in some conditions such as cerebral palsy, stroke, polio, and Bell's palsy require more of physiotherapy treatment in the later stages of the diseases.[16],[17],[18],[19] Hence, it is necessary to create awareness of physiotherapy in both urban and rural areas. There have been very few studies on awareness of knowledge of physiotherapy among the general public and those conducted are scarce showing enormous scope. From the scarce published literature, it is evident that even among the developed countries, the awareness of physiotherapy is inadequate among the general public. However, knowledge of physiotherapy among the population is fairly high in countries such as Japan, USA, UK, and Australia, while poor knowledge in developing countries.[20],[21],[22] The corollary true benefits of services of physiotherapy in health promotion, wellness, and disability prevention are less recognized and poorly publicized. It has come to know from the available literature that no studies have been conducted in North Karnataka regarding awareness of physiotherapy among health professionals and nonhealth professionals in urban and rural population of Dharwad District, Karnataka, India.[23] Hence, an attempt has been made to assess the awareness of physiotherapy among health professionals and nonhealth professionals in urban and rural population of Dharwad District, Karnataka, India.


  Subjects and Methods Top


The present study was conducted to assess the awareness of physiotherapy among health professionals and nonhealth professionals in urban and rural areas of Dharwad district. The sample size was calculated as 1000 professionals and 1000 nonprofessionals with 1% alpha error and 95% power of the test. The sampling procedure used is multistage random sampling. During the first stage, the urban and rural stratification of Dharwad district was done. In the second stage, the number of health professional colleges, nursing homes, and private practitioners was identified for health professionals in both urban and rural areas. In the third stage, various government offices, banks, life insurance corporation offices, schools, industries, and business establishments for nonprofessional schools and colleges were identified for nonprofessionals in both urban and rural areas. Finally, convenience samples of 2000 subjects were taken for the study. Out of the total of 2000 subjects, 1000 subjects were from urban and 1000 subjects were from rural areas. Out of 1000 urban subjects, 500 were health professionals and 500 were nonhealth professionals. Similarly, out of 1000 rural subjects, 500 were health professionals and 500 were nonhealth professionals. Data were analyzed statistically with an independent t-test applied to find the difference between professionals and also for the area of residence wise using SPSS 20.0 version (SPSS Inc. Released 2007. SPSS for Windows, Version 16.0. Chicago, SPSS Inc.). The statistical significance was set at a 5% level of significance (P < 0.05).

We have obtained permission for this cross-sectional, validated questionnaire-based study from our institutional research and ethical society. Furthermore, we took written consent from our participants in the study.

Pilot study and reliability and validity

A pilot study was carried out with a self-generated questionnaire on a sample of 100 professionals including 50 health professionals and 50 nonhealth professionals. The test and retest scores of total awareness of physiotherapy were taken. Karl Pearson's product-moment technique has been applied to find out the reliability. The reliability coefficient was found to be 0.9168 and intrinsic validity was found to be 95.75%.


  Results Top


The total study population consists of 2000 subjects, of which 1000 were health professionals and 1000 were nonhealth professionals. Out of 1000 health professionals, 500 were from urban area (50.00%) and 500 were from rural area (50.00%). Similarly, out of 1000 nonhealth professionals, 500 were from urban area (50.00%) and 500 were from rural area (50.00%). Further, out of 1000 health professionals, 518 were males (51.80%) and 482 were females (48.20%). Similarly, out of 1000 nonhealth professionals, 607 were males (60.70%) and 393 were females (39.30%). Out of 1000 health professionals, there were 299 (59.80%) males and 201 were females (40.20%) in urban area, and in rural area, there were 219 males (43.80%) and 281 were females (56.20%). Similarly, of 1000 nonhealth professionals, there were 351 (70.20%) males and 149 were females (29.80%) in urban area, and in rural area, there were 256 males (51.20%) and 244 were females (48.80%). However, out of 1000 health professionals 621 were married (62.10%) and 379 were unmarried (37.90%). Similarly, there were 807 married (80.70%) and 193 were unmarried (19.30%) in nonhealth professionals. The average age of the health professional in urban area was 32.50 years and in rural area was 36.41 years. Similarly, the average age of the nonprofessional in urban area was 38.10 years and in rural area was 39.55 years [Table 1].
Table 1: Distribution of health professionals and nonhealth professionals according to location and age groups

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The health and nonhealth professionals differ statistically significantly with respect to their awareness of physiotherapy (t = 28.3221, P < 0.05) at a 5% level of significance. The health professionals (mean = 8.7540) have a higher awareness of physiotherapy than the nonhealth professionals (mean = 4.3730) [Table 2]. The urban and rural health professionals differ statistically significantly with respect to their awareness of physiotherapy (t = 3.8198, P < 0.05). The urban health professionals (mean = 9.1440) have a higher awareness of physiotherapy than the rural health professionals (mean = 8.3640) [Table 3]. Similarly, the same findings were between urban and rural nonhealth professionals with their awareness of physiotherapy (t = 13.6710, P < 0.05). The urban nonhealth professionals (mean = 5.8240) have a higher awareness of physiotherapy than the rural nonhealth professionals (mean = 2.9220) [Table 3].
Table 2: Results of t-test between health and nonhealth professionals with awareness of physiotherapy

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Table 3: Results of t-test between urban and rural health professionals; urban and rural nonhealth professionals with awareness of physiotherapy

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  Discussion Top


This was a community-based study conducted in Dharwad district of Karnataka, India. An unbiased, representative sample of individuals from health-care professionals and nonhealth-care professionals belonging to urban and rural areas was drawn and a comparison was made. The findings are detailed in [Table 1], demographic characters, [Table 2] results of the t-test between health-care professionals and nonhealth-care professionals, and [Table 3] results of the t-test between urban and rural areas.

The present study has revealed that the awareness of physiotherapy was better among health professionals as compared to the nonhealth professionals. The difference is found to be statistically significant (P < 0.01). The probable reason for this could be that the health professionals have studied and acquired knowledge of physiotherapy during their studies in the branches of medicine, surgery, and orthopedics e; whereas in nonhealth professionals, the scope for acquiring the knowledge of physiotherapy is almost nil during their studies. So far, no such studies have been conducted to assess the awareness of physiotherapy among health and nonhealth professionals. Hence, the comparison of this present study to the previous studies is limited.

The present study also revealed that the awareness of physiotherapy is better among urban health professionals as compared to rural health professionals. The difference is found to be statistically significant (P < 0.01). The probable reason for this could be that most of the urban health professionals working in specialty hospitals, nursing homes, and medical college hospitals. In these hospitals, there would be a separate department of physiotherapy for treating the patients. By referring the needy patients regularly to the physiotherapy department, the urban health professionals might have acquired more knowledge and awareness of physiotherapy as compared to the rural health professional. This study is in concurrence with the study conducted by Friburger et al.[24] and Tabenkin et al.,[25] where the specialists like orthopedic surgeons and primary care physicians refer musculoskeletal condition patients to physiotherapy.

The present study also shows that the awareness of physiotherapy is better among urban nonhealth professionals as compared to rural nonhealth professionals. The difference is found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05). The probable reason for this could be that due to the easy accessibility of physiotherapy treatment in urban areas and also due to the referral system made by the specialists in urban area, the awareness of physiotherapy was more among urban nonhealth professionals than rural health professionals. The lack of awareness of physiotherapy among rural nonhealth professionals may be due to illiteracy and low health literacy about physiotherapy.

This finding is agreeable with the study conducted by Harms and Kobusingye[26] at rehabilitation service centers in urban Uganda hospital; where the barriers to utilize the rehabilitation services are fear and misconception about rehabilitation services.

The finding of the present survey has revealed that the awareness of physiotherapy knowledge is poor among rural health professionals and nonhealth professionals. The main barriers to awareness of physiotherapy knowledge in rural population may be a shortage of physiotherapists, uneven distributions of health professionals in urban and rural areas, etc.

Many of the rural population in India are not getting timely physiotherapy services due to a lack of accessibility. The patient has to travel far to get physiotherapy treatment. Hence, the awareness of physiotherapy must be improved in rural areas through a suitable health-care delivery system and it should be devised for the delivery of preventive, curative, promotive, and rehabilitation services.

Perhaps regular physiotherapy health education camps and treatment camps when conducted at regular intervals in rural areas may facilitate exposure to physiotherapy treatment. Awareness of scientific knowledge of physiotherapy through health education will melt away the barriers of ignorance, customs, and misconception among the rural population.


  Conclusion Top


The awareness of physiotherapy was better among health professionals as compared to the nonhealth professionals. The awareness of physiotherapy was better among urban nonhealth professionals as compared to rural nonhealth professionals. The awareness of physiotherapy was better among urban health professionals as compared to rural health professionals.

Recommendations

The other recommendations to consider in creating the awareness of physiotherapy among the rural population are:

  • Coordination between the community-based social services and physiotherapy health-care providers should be strengthened to ensure the awareness of physiotherapy in rural areas of Dharwad district, Karnataka, India
  • Physiotherapy should be considered an integral part of general health and it should be included in each individuals health plan
  • Provision should be made to appoint one or two physiotherapists in private and public sector industrial establishments
  • The Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare services should appoint one clinical physiotherapist in each primary health center, community health center, district hospital, and regional hospital with minimum physiotherapy equipment
  • Future prospects: Community outreach programs from physiotherapy institutes in primary health-care centers.


Acknowledgment

First, we are very much grateful to our director for giving us an opportunity to work on this research project. Second, our team of field assistants, who tirelessly worked as per the protocol to collect the data, we thank them, and finally all the participants for their active participation. Ms. SarikaBringimath for manuscript formatting, we owe our sincere thanks.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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