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Background: In Thailand, primary health care settings are presently established thorough the country, leading to an increase in roles of physical therapists at primary health care settings. To promote physical therapists to work as full-time staff at primary health care settings, the current information about the physical therapists who were working at primary health care settings was necessary.
Objectives: To explore the work practices of physical therapists who were full-time staff in primary health care settings in Buri Ram, Chaiyaphum and Nakhon Ratchasima Provinces.
Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted in 9 physical therapists (8 females and 1 male, average age of 28.4±4.3 years) of primary health care settings in 3 provinces. Information was analyzed by using content analysis.
Results: Physical therapy services of the informants consisted of institutional- and community-based services. Besides their primary health care settings, the informants had to take responsibility for the services in another 4-7 neighboring sub-district health promotion hospitals. Work barriers and facilitators of the informants could be divided into 4 aspects: manpower, money, materials and management. To manage their works, the informants applied several strategies which could be organized into 2 issues: self-attitude and work style. In the informants’ point of view, physical therapists themselves, physical therapy schools and organizations could involve the achievement of physical therapy services in primary care.
Conclusion: These findings should be useful for physical therapy schools and other organizations related to physical therapy profession for promoting the full-time work in primary care settings of physical therapists in the future.
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