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Influences on physiotherapists when deciding to study at Masters level: An exploratory study

By Peter Glover, Catherine Bulley and Stella Howden


Within the physiotherapy profession, there are increasing expectations in relation to specialization and life-long learning. This has led to increasing prominence of Masters level study as a route for professional development. Despite this, little is known regarding the thought processes of physiotherapists in relation to postqualification study. This qualitative study aimed to explore the influences on physiotherapists when deciding to undertake taught Masters level study. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with nine physiotherapists in two Scottish Higher Education institutions. Thematic analysis highlighted motivators and barriers that were intrinsic and extrinsic to the individual. Physiotherapists were strongly influenced by the desire to develop professionally, but had to overcome barriers such as lack of confidence to study at this level and lack of familiarity with the context and content of Masters level study. Findings suggest that increasing the familiarity of clinicians with aspects of Masters education would facilitate them in their decision to undertake postqualification study. Increasing early support strategies for Masters students would enable them to gain confidence and continue with their studies

Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eresearch.qmu.ac.uk:529
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