ASSESSMENT OF PERCEIVED QUALITY OF PHYSIOTHERAPY SERVICES IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA TEACHING HOSPITAL)
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The idea of teaching hospitals in Nigeria is a very important segment of the country’s health care system, renderings wide range of modern and highly experienced and developed specialist services like acute, emergency, newborn, geriatric, diagnostic, rehabilitation, palliative and outpatient care. As segment of broad system that renders health services, teaching hospitals chip in to the nation’s health results in collaboration with other national health major components, together with higher education and training schemes meant for diverse disciplines including medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, medical technologist, paramedic and specialist training schemes. Over and beyond that, teaching hospitals also played significant roles in making sure diseases prevention strategies, health-promotion strategies, chronic disease management, other primary care services and accessible aged care are brought into existence and implemented. The teaching hospitals are designed to render and satisfy the diverse health needs of communities in Nigeria and beyond. Viewing it from the perspective of physiotherapy services, the patients desire to be referred by physicians or specialists through a referral letter in order to receive the needed physiotherapy services at rehabilitation medicine department which includes the first ‘Entrance’ between patients and physiotherapists.
Concurrent with the growing of our population is a meaningful rise in the frequentness of chronic diseases. This in turn has maximized the cravings for physical therapists and physical therapy services by all health agencies. The unaccustomed, unfamiliar need for services may outsmart and exceed the capabilities of the already existing medical facilities. There is also a fast growing need and urge for out-of hospital treatment programs with a concurrent shortage of competent and well to do physical therapists to sta
them. Irrespective of the expertise in therapeutic exercises and the available record of effectiveness
and productiveness, many people continue to live with physical disabilities all around the world, specifically in Africa, Nigeria. Access to rehabilitation for people with disability is deficient and wanting, not to talk of the rural communities, with the attendant economic and social outcomes if the status quo is maintained. Notwithstanding, physiotherapy being perceived from the positive sided positively by all referral groups of patients, there is still a differentiation of knowledge about the profession by the general public, which influences self-referral. Diverse referral practices exist among doctors based on the different views held by these doctors as to the conditions seen as amenable to physiotherapy or their therapeutic intentions when suggesting physiotherapy with or without other medications as noted by Akpala et al. Hurley 2002 opined that other factors that might act referral systems could be the age, sex of individual doctors, medical school attended, and previous experience of hospital or other rehabilitation services, and specifically of physical therapy. There is also a challenge in the employment of evidence-based practice by many physical therapists. Jetteetal.also pointed out that physical therapists had a desire to maximize the use of evidence in their everyday practice.
The reduced idea of public-health-oriented physical therapy can be seen in the midst diverse physical therapists. According to the chartered society of physiotherapy in the year 2010, physiotherapy workforce has a major significant role to play in the public health agenda through its contribution to the prevention of disease, promotion of good health, specifically through physical activity and development in the all-round quality of life. Numerous studies have indicated the urge to resolve these issues and put an end to the constraints in physiotherapy specifically in the Nigerian environment. Irrespective of being a large research work supporting the importance of physiotherapy for most effective and satisfactory public health of every nation’s citizenry, there still remains a need for a more public health-oriented well researched and reasoned physical therapy practice. On this premise, this study will assess the perceived qualities of physiotherapy services in University of Nigerian Hospital.