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Pearlyn Esther Padma Lawrence 1 Article
Understanding the Perspectives of Paediatric Physicians on Physiotherapy in Paediatric Rehabilitation in Chennai, India: A Qualitative Approach
Vadivelan Kanniappan, Abishek Jayapal Rajeswari, Pearlyn Esther Padma Lawrence, Subash Sundar
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(2):157-166.   Published online January 21, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.426
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
Children with disabilities may exhibit a multitude of symptoms, and treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach for a satisfactory outcome. Lack of awareness among physicians, lack of referral, and lack of inter-sectoral coordination have hindered paediatric practice in Tamil Nadu, a state in India with a striking childhood disability rate that warrants a timely interdisciplinary approach. However, the perspectives of paediatricians on paediatric physiotherapy are unknown. The aim of the study was to investigate the perspectives of practicing paediatric physicians in Chennai on the role of physiotherapy in paediatrics.
Methods
For an in-depth exploration, qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted in person with 10 paediatricians. Audio from the sessions was recorded and transcribed, and data saturation was achieved through iterative analysis.
Results
A grounded theory analysis of the results yielded 5 domains under which the perspectives and expectations of the physicians were described, along with the barriers experienced by patients’ parents as explained by their paediatrician. The responses highlighted deficits in awareness, structural support, accessibility and direct communication between physicians and physiotherapists.
Conclusions
Paediatric physicians have different opinions, and some ignorance persists concerning paediatric physiotherapy. This study warrants a proper structure of the paediatric rehabilitation unit and regular interdisciplinary meetings and focus group discussions to increase access for parents and improve patient outcomes.
Summary
Key Message
The paper investigates the views of pediatricians in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, about pediatric physiotherapy. It finds themes including the value of a multidisciplinary approach, the function of experienced physiotherapists, and parental access restrictions via qualitative interviews with ten doctors. To maximize patient outcomes, recommendations include raising awareness, strengthening multidisciplinary cooperation, and creating centralized pediatric rehabilitation centers.

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health