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Physiotherapists perceive hosting clinical placements in private practice as an investment in future physiotherapists: a mixed-methods study

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posted on 2023-10-30, 04:02 authored by Casey PeirisCasey Peiris, V Lawton, R Dunwoodie, A Francis-Cracknell, A Reubenson, C Wells
Questions: What do private practitioners perceive to be the benefits, barriers, costs and risks of hosting physiotherapy students on clinical placement? What models of placement are used and what support would private practitioners like to enable them to continue hosting students? Design: A national mixed-methods study comprising a survey and four focus groups. Participants: Forty-five private practitioners from six states and territories who host on average 208 students per year (approximately one-third of all physiotherapy private practice placements in Australia) completed the survey. Fourteen practitioners participated in focus groups. Results: Participants reported that hosting placements helped to recruit graduates and assisted private practitioners in developing clinical and educator knowledge and skills. Cost (both time and financial) and difficulties securing a sufficient caseload for students were perceived barriers to hosting placements. Hosting placements was perceived to be low risk for clients due to supervised care, but there was potential for risk to business reputation and income when hosting a poorly performing student. Participants mostly described a graded exposure placement model whereby final-year students progressed from observation to shared care to providing care under supervision. Participants perceived that they could be assisted in hosting placements if they were to receive additional financial and personalised support from universities. Conclusion: Private practitioners perceived hosting students to be beneficial for the practice, the profession, staff and clients; however, they did report them to be costly and time-consuming. Universities are perceived to play a vital role in providing training, support and communication with educators and students for ongoing placement provision.


Publication Date



Journal of Physiotherapy






7p. (p. 175-181)


Elsevier BV



Rights Statement

Crown Copyright © 2023 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Australian Physiotherapy Association. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (