An international journal dedicated to allied health professional practice and education

Factors Identified by Physiotherapists that Influence the Retention of Regional Clinicians: A Qualitative Investigation


 

Ellie Miles, B Physio (Honours)1

Robyn Adams, BAppSc(Phty)2
Sophie Anaf, B Physiotherapy (Honours), PhD
3

Lorraine Sheppard, B App Sc (Physiotherapy), MBA, PhD4

 

  1. Clinical physiotherapist, Queensland Health, Australia and Physiotherapy Department, James Cook University

  2. Director Allied Health, Townsville Health Service District, Queensland, Australia and Physiotherapy Department,
    James Cook University

  3. Clinical physiotherapist, Queensland Health, Australia and Physiotherapy Department, James Cook University

  4. Professor, Physiotherapy Department,  James Cook University and School of Health Sciences,
    University of South Australia

 Australia


CITATION: Miles, E., Adams, R., Anaf, S., Sheppard, L. Factors Identified by Physiotherapists that Influence the Retention of Regional Clinicians: A Qualitative Investigation. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. Jan 2010. Volume 8 Number 1.

ABSTRACT
Objective: To identify factors influencing the retention of physiotherapists in one regional setting. Design: A qualitative framework using semi-structured interviews was used to collect data. Data were evaluated using thematic analysis. Setting: A regional city located on the coastline of Queensland, Australia, more than six hours drive from the capital city, Brisbane. Participants: Practicing physiotherapists employed by Queensland Health, the main public health employer. Main Outcome Measures: Retention themes identified from the interview transcripts. Results: The advantages of remaining employed in the regional city were centred on personal issues. Forty-four responses described personal advantages while 33 described professional advantages. The two most common advantages were remaining close to family and lifestyle and environment.  Professional negative factors achieved a higher tally of 57 responses as compared to personal issues with only 24 responses. The two most common disadvantages described were professional issues including a lack of professional development and minimal supervision and support. All participants listed incentives requiring financial resourcing to improve retention. Conclusion: Negative work related factors were more significant when there is no personal connection to the community highlighting the importance addressing and maintaining a high level of professional satisfaction in order to retain clinicians.

Keywords and terms: retention, physiotherapy, allied health, regional, rural

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