How do non-specific back pain patients think about their adherence to physiotherapy, and what strategies do physiotherapists use to facilitate adherence? A focus group interview study

A. Alt*, H. Luomajoki, K. Roese, K. Luedtke

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: Long-term effectiveness of physiotherapy (PT) for low back pain (LBP) depends on the adherence of patients. Objectives: (1) Identify aspects associated with the adherence of patients with LBP to physiotherapy, and (2) identify factors to facilitate adherence of patients with LBP to PT. Method: Focus group interviews were conducted with 10 patients with LBP (n = 10, 5 women) and 11 physiotherapists (5 women) from Germany and Switzerland, treating patients with LBP. Data analysis was based on structured content analysis. Deductive and inductive categories were identified and coded. Results: Patients with LBP requested more and effective home programs, long-term rehabilitation management, and individualized therapy to achieve a higher level of adherence. Physiotherapists requested more time for patient education. Communication, quality of the therapist-patient relationship, and individualized therapy were identified as essential factors by both representatives. Conclusion: Patients and physiotherapists identified aspects contributing to adherence. These may guide the development of multidimensional measurement tools for adherence. In addition, this information can be used to develop PT approaches to facilitate the level of adherence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 19.09.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Health Sciences

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-02 Public Health, Health Services Research and Social Medicine

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