In physiotherapy, communication plays an important role in the treatment process. Various factors affect the way we communicate. A patient-centred approach to non-verbal communication is some of them. If we learn more about them, we can improve our communication skills.

Lead to improved health outcomes

Effective communication between physiotherapists and patients has many benefits. Research has shown that effective communication improves the understanding between health professionals and patients and can lead to improved health outcomes. Many indirect and direct pathways contribute to communication success. Talk is therapeutic and contributes to a person’s well-being, as it reduces negative emotions and increases positive ones.

The language used to direct the patient in physiotherapy is also key. For example, using “allow your leg to come forward” rather than “step/move your leg forward” may elicit a different type of movement from the patient than “step/move your leg forward.” Physiotherapists may also pick up on cues or prompts more relevant to a patient’s unique needs.

The study involved 15 written assignments, each of which was about three thousand words long. Students analysed various practice elements, including communication and effective communication strategies, national codes of rights and ethics, and patient narratives. The physiotherapy learning outcome included identifying communication techniques, analysing their purpose, and demonstrating a clear understanding of the components of effective communication.

Patients also reported that they remembered the advice and considered it relevant. It was associated with shared decision-making during the initial encounter, as patients are likely to remember advice if it is relevant to them. Patients also remembered prescribed exercises when they were simple and few and when their expectations and concerns were addressed.

Patient-centred approach

The patient-centred approach to physiotherapy is gaining momentum in healthcare and medicine. The concept of patient-centred care has many benefits, including improved trust, patient safety, and improved health outcomes. However, physiotherapists are still learning to integrate this approach into their practice. 

The patient-centred approach to physiotherapy involves considering factors motivating the participant to complete the exercises prescribed by the physiotherapist. Physiotherapists must also consider factors that encourage participants to follow the exercises appropriately. If the physiotherapist can make the patient’s situation more bearable, the patient will be more likely to follow the programme and achieve results. But in some cases, the patient-centred approach to physiotherapy is not enough. It is important to recognize and understand the limitations of this type of physiotherapy.

A patient-centred approach to physiotherapy involves involving patients in decision-making and setting goals. This approach also respects the patient’s decision-making and does not discriminate. It also allows the patient to participate in healthcare decision-making by providing time for questions and answers.

Non-verbal communication

In physiotherapy, non-verbal communication is essential to the patient-therapist relationship. It includes reading body language and maintaining appropriate eye contact. These non-verbal cues can be just as important as verbal communication. Physiotherapists should maintain a positive and compassionate attitude when speaking to patients.

Research shows that effective communication improves understanding between health professionals and patients and can improve health outcomes. This communication can be direct and indirect. It can also be positive, leading to less negative emotion and improved health. Health professionals can use non-verbal communication in physiotherapy to ensure that patients adhere to their treatment

Non-verbal communication occurs through facial expressions and body language. These non-verbal cues reveal emotions, intent, and more. A smile, for instance, can convey friendliness and openness. Similarly, an engaged or relaxed gaze can indicate interest or attentiveness.

Another important form of non-verbal communication in physiotherapy is touch. While touch is largely reserved for manual treatment, it also helps the physiotherapist express caring feelings, empathy, support, and reassurance to patients. Though physiotherapists rarely describe the touch as an explicit form of communication, their patients often express their appreciation for the touch.

The study showed that physical therapists rarely use expressive touch, which may reflect a lack of understanding of the added value of touch or improper preparation in the physiotherapy training program. The study’s findings may help further research into the role of touch in the hospital setting. While the study focuses on physical therapy, it also has implications for nursing practices.

Physical therapists need to be able to establish trust to provide optimal care to patients. It requires a strong understanding of the patient’s comfort level. In addition, you may check this website to learn more about this. 


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