Perspectives of Nigerian Athletes About Physiotherapy Services in Sports Injury Management: Implications for Rehabilitation

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Background: Athletes’ perceptions toward physiotherapy services have an impact on their general attitude toward these services and their willingness to work together with physiotherapists for rehabilitation. The study investigated athletes’ perspectives of physiotherapy services in sports injury management. Methods: A mixed-study design of a cross-sectional survey that involved 178 conveniently sampled athletes and an explanatory qualitative study (8 purposively-selected athletes) was used. The authors assessed the participants’ knowledge and perception of physiotherapy services using the modified versions of the Athletes’ Level of Knowledge Questionnaire, Matsuno Athletes Perception Scale, and focus group discussion. The data were analyzed using chi-square, Spearman correlation at P ≤ .05, and deductive reasoning thematic analysis. Results: The age of the participants for the cross-sectional survey (131 men and 47 women) was 22.50 (7.51) years. Our results showed that the majority (91.6%) of them had adequate knowledge and (78.7%) positive perception about the role physiotherapists play in sports injury management. The participants’ knowledge of physiotherapy services had a significantly positive correlation with age (ρ = .12; P = .01), sporting years (ρ = .17; P = .02), and duration in sports council (ρ = .19; P = .01), while their perception showed a negative correlation with age (ρ = −.15; P = .05), sporting years (ρ = −.16; P = .03), and duration in sports council (ρ = −.08; P = .02). However, no significant correlation existed between the participants’ knowledge; perception and level of education; level of competition; type of sport; and type, nature, and severity of sport injury. Seven themes were generated from the focus group discussion. Conclusion: The participants reported adequate knowledge and a positive perception of physiotherapy services. The correlates of participants’ knowledge and perception of physiotherapy services are age, sporting years, and duration in the sports council. From the qualitative component of the study, the authors identified the need to provide more physiotherapy services to athletes and more facilities for physiotherapy services.

Odole, Agbomeji, and Odunaiya are with the Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. Onyeso is with the Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu, Nigeria; and the Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa, Nigeria. Ojo is with the Department of Physiotherapy, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria.

Agbomeji (physiowale111@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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