The Meaning of Caring from the Perspectives of Patients Undergoing Physical Therapy: A Pilot Study

By Greenfield, Bruce; Keough, Erin et al. | Journal of Allied Health, Summer 2010 | Go to article overview

The Meaning of Caring from the Perspectives of Patients Undergoing Physical Therapy: A Pilot Study


Greenfield, Bruce, Keough, Erin, Linn, Sydney, Little, Derek, Portela, Christine, Journal of Allied Health


This research note describes a pilot study that examined the meaning of caring from the perspectives of patients undergoing physical therapy. METHODS: A phenomenological methodology was used to explore the essential meaning of caring behaviors from the experiences of patients undergoing physical therapy. Patients were asked to describe caring interactions they have experienced with their physical therapists. RESULTS: The responses of the participants were inductively analyzed for themes and sub-themes that explained physical therapy caring. Based on that analysis, a central theme of mindful caring emerged from participants' responses. The theme of mindful caring reflected the physical therapist and patient relationship. Further analysis uncovered four sub-themes that gave a clearer picture of caring behaviors experienced by the participants. These included personal values, patient empowerment, open communication and exceptional service. CONCLUSION: The results of this pilot study demonstrate the dimensions of caring in healthcare practice from the unique perspectives of patients. J Allied Health 2010; 39:e43- e47.

ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS cultivate relationships that are guided by the value of caring. Caring has been identified in many healthcare professions as a core value of their professional ethos.1-13 Contemporary healthcare disablement models such as the International Classification of Impairment, Function and Disability (ICF),14 emphasize patient-centered caring to uncover and integrate patients' personal values into decisions about clinical care. The nature of caring in clinical practice is based on psychosocial literature,15,16 professional education literature,17-20 normative ethical theory,21 feminist ethics,22,23 and qualitative exploration.8,12,13,24-34 Most of that data about caring, in turn, are based on the experiences and the perspectives of ethicists, educators, and clinicians and little from the perspectives of patients.

BACKGROUND

Caring has been described in healthcare literature through several different and conflicting frameworks, including: virtue of caring8,35, ethics of caring6,20,36,37, novice and expert caring24,31,34,38, and rules based caring39,40 (Table 1 provides a summary of caring frameworks) An American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) consensus panel developed a document, Professionalism in Physical Therapy, to assist the profession in its transition to a doctoring profession. This document listed several core values of professionalism including caring. The consensus panel defined caring as concern, empathy, and consideration for the needs and values of others.41 The document lists sample indicators of caring behaviors including:

(1) understanding an individual's perspective,

(2) being an advocate for patient's/client's needs,

(3) empowering patients/clients to achieve the highest level of function possible and to exercise self-determination in their care, and

(4) embracing the patient's/client's emotional and psychological aspects of care.

Because caring is considered a core value of clinical practice, researchers in healthcare continue to explore caring behaviors from multiple perspectives. The purpose of this study was to explore the nature of caring from the perspectives of patients undergoing physical therapy to determine the behaviors that reflect caring. Based on the purpose of this pilot study, we sought to answer the following questions. Are therapists exhibiting caring behaviors? Second, is our caring consistent with the sample indicators set forth by our professional organization? Third, is caring the same across all clinical settings and patient conditions?

Methods

PARTICIPANTS

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Emory University. To develop a deeper understanding of caring behaviors in clinical practice from the perspectives of patients, a phenomenological research design was used. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Meaning of Caring from the Perspectives of Patients Undergoing Physical Therapy: A Pilot Study
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.