Date of Award
Sociology & Anthropology
Fr. Jeremiah Lowney
In the field of physical therapy, many aspects are important in developing and executing a successful plan for improving the health of a patient. The relationship between the physical therapist and patient is among the most important of these aspects. This paper offers a deeper sociological look at the relationship between a physical therapist and patient based on four areas, which seem pertinent to this relationship: (1) understanding the roles of the individuals involved; (2) compliance of the patient to prescribed regimens; (3) motivating the patients; and (4) effective communication. This study offers an analysis of the contribution of these four areas to improving the relationship between a physical therapist and patient. This study is based on data gathered through observations made during volunteer work and a supervised sociological internship within several physical therapy settings and is expanded with in-depth interviews of four physical therapists. The analysis provides a presentation of evidence as to how the relationship between the physical therapist and patient can be enhanced by understanding and applying several sociological concepts and theories.
Helvik, Kevin, "Elements of an Effective Physical Therapist-Patient Relationship" (1999). Sociology and Anthropology Undergraduate Theses. 15.