Work practices of physical therapists in primary health care settings

Main Article Content

Nongkhran Termwut Nomjit Nualnetr


 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.



Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Termwut N, Nualnetr N. Work practices of physical therapists in primary health care settings. Thai Journal of Physical Therapy [Internet]. 17Apr.2018 [cited 21Oct.2018];40(1):1-5. Available from:
Research Articles


1. Physical Therapy Profession Act. [online] 2004 [cited 2014 Aug 8]. Available from:

2. Nualnetr N. Basic knowledge for community physical therapy works. Khon Kaen: Klang Na Na Vithaya; 2010.

3. Bureau of Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Public Health. Health policy in Thailand 2007. [online] 2007 [cited 2014 Aug 8]. Available from:

4. Bureau of Health, Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health. Long term care. 3rd ed. Bangkok: The War Veteran Organization of Thailand Printing; 2013.

5. Bureau of Non Communicable Disease, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health. Data of non communicable disease. [online] 2012 [cited 2014 Aug 8]. Available from: information-statistic/non-communicable-disease-data.php.

6. Suansin P, Nualnetr N. Prospective physical therapy services of community. Thai J Phys Ther 2008; 30(2): 95-105.

7. Nualnetr N, Sakhornkhan A. Improving accessibility to medical services for persons with disabilities in Thailand. Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development 2012; 23(1): 34-49.

8. Chirawatkul S. Qualitative study in health science. Bangkok: Wittayaphat; 2009.

9. Supawong C, Chunharas S, Sirilak S, Damrikarnlerd L, Srivanichakorn S, Vechasuthanon K. A manual for services of sub-district health promotion hospital. 2nd ed. Bangkok: War Veteran Organization of Thailand Printing; 2009.

10. Ariyachaikul S, Pengping V, Habudha V. The role and duty of physical therapists in community hospitals. Bull Chiang Mai Assoc Med Sci 2001; 34(3): 169-79.

11. A manual for the long term care system for the elderly in the National Health Security System. [online] 2016 [cited 2017 Aug 21]. Available from:

12. Poomsutat P, Nualnetr N, Chantaraviroj P, Ariyachaikul S, Wongsirinawarat M, Danaitangtrakul J. The mechanisms of formation and adaptation of physical therapy services in community. Thai J Phys Ther 2012; 34(1): 45-54.

13. Phandech K. The performance through standard service of physical therapist in community hospital, public health region 12 [Master Thesis in Public Health Administration]. Khon Kaen: The Graduate School, Khon Kaen University; 2012.

14. Wilaichit S, Tridech P, Pandii W. Factors affecting standard of practice for physiotherapist in hospitals under Ministry of Public Health in the central region. J Med Tech Phys Ther 2011; 23(2): 197-208.

15. Nualnetr N. Problems of Khon Kaen’s physical therapy graduates working in rural hospital. J Med Tech Phys Ther 2001; 13(3): 166-75.

16. Sarakshetrin A, Samphawamana O, Suwannarat K. Role practices of professional nurses at the PCU. J Nursing Division 2010; 37(3): 52-63.

17. Chirunthorn R, Singpaiboonporn N, Lohanavakul P, Treratthanapaiboon P. Factors affecting the role performance of pharmacists in primary care units (PCU): a case study in the upper southern region of Thailand. Songkla Med J 2006; 24(6): 505-16.

18. Nualnetr N. Physical therapy roles in community-based rehabilitation: a case study in rural areas of north eastern Thailand. Asia Pacific Disabil Rehabil J 2009; 20(1): 73-82.

19. Bury T. Primary health care and community based rehabilitation: implications for physical therapy. Asia Pacific Disabil Rehabil J 2005; 16(2): 29-61.

20. World Confederation for Physical Therapy. Primary health care and community based rehabilitation: implications for physical therapy based on a survey of WCPT's member organisations and a literature review. WCPT Briefing Paper 1. London: WCPT; 2003.