Models of integrating physical therapists into family health teams in ontario, Canada: challenges and opportunities.
PURPOSE: To explore the potential for different models of incorporating physical therapy (PT) services within the emerging network of family health teams (FHTs) in Ontario and to identify challenges and opportunities of each model. METHODS: A two-phase mixed-methods qualitative descriptive approach was used. First, FHTs were mapped in relation to existing community-based PT practices. Second, semi-structured key-informant interviews were conducted with representatives from urban and rural FHTs and from a variety of community-based PT practices. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using a categorizing/editing approach. RESULTS: Most participants agreed that the ideal model involves embedding physical therapists directly into FHTs; in some situations, however, partnering with an existing external PT provider may be more feasible and sustainable. Access and funding remain the key issues, regardless of the model adopted. CONCLUSION: Although there are differences across the urban/rural divide, there exist opportunities to enhance and optimize existing delivery models so as to improve client access and address emerging demand for community-based PT services.
Cott, CA; Mandoda, S; Landry, MD
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