Objective: This study explored Bahamian physiotherapists’ perception of the usefulness of radiologic imaging in physiotherapy practice and to evaluate their self-reported level of confidence in viewing and interpreting these images. Associations between academic qualification, sector of practice and confidence were also examined.
Methods: Ethical approval was granted by UHWI/UWI/FMS Ethics Committee and the local hospitals in Nassau, Bahamas. Practicing physiotherapists were invited to participate. Physiotherapy interns, retired physiotherapists and persons designated as physiotherapy assistants/aids were excluded. Only physiotherapists who gave consent entered the study.
Results: There was a 75% response rate. Most respondents held the Bachelor of Science in physiotherapy as their highest academic qualification. Respondents all agreed that it is essential for physiotherapists to know how to view and interpret medical imaging. The majority of them reported confidence in interpreting plain x-rays (97%, n=29). Those with postgraduate qualifications were likely to report greater confidence. Those in private practice were more likely to report confidence with CT scans, MRI, US and bone scans while those in public practice were most likely to be more confident with X-rays. Most respondents expressed a need for more training in the viewing and interpretation of neurological imaging (86.7%, n=26), ultrasound (50%, n=15), magnetic resonance imaging (63.3%, n=19) and CT scan (43.3%, n=13).
Conclusion: Overall, the results demonstrated that physiotherapists in the Bahamas perceived it essential for physiotherapist to know how to view and interpret medical imaging and that confidence to interpret such imaging varied. These physiotherapists expressed the need for further training.
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