Changing the prescription status of physiotherapists: Perception of Nigerian physiotherapists
Background: There appears to be a global change in the role of physiotherapists (most especially) in serving as supplementary prescribers of relevant drugs.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine the opinion of physiotherapists on enlistment as supplementary prescribers of drugs, and the classes of drugs they would like to prescribe.
Methods: 102 licensed physiotherapists from 5 purposively selected hospitals participated in the study. A self administered questionnaire was used to collect the data. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Kruskal Wallis test.
Results: Eighty-three physiotherapists (83.8%) wanted to be enlisted as supplementary prescribers and most would like to prescribe analgesics (74.8%), NSAIDS (74.8%) and muscle relaxants (59.2%). Also, 89 respondents (86.4%) supported the enactment of a law that will protect physiotherapists in case of professional litigation. A range of reasons were adduced for desiring to have a change in prescription status and these include effectiveness of clinical practice (77.7%), image improvement (67.0%) and the increased benefit for patients (82.5%). The number of respondents who would like to prescribe Analgesics, NSAIDS and Muscle relaxants were significantly higher than for other classes of drugs (P = 0.001). It was concluded that the majority of physiotherapists would want their status to change to that of supplementary prescribers. Also, most prescribers would like to prescribe analgesics and NSAIDS while a moderate number would like to prescribe muscle relaxants under the protection of an enabling law.
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