During April-June 2021, a series of focus group meetings were held as one of the tasks which aims to identify educational needs in gait physiotherapy in Europe. During these meetings also dissemination of the project took place. Information was provided to physiotherapy experts. They work in different units where they have contact with many other professionals in the field. So by using the professional network we hope to disseminate the project and make it more visible, recognizable, and interesting for potential beneficiaries. Manner of conducting the interview was online using information technology to ensure recording and identification of the expert.
OBJECTIVE OF THE FOCUS GROUP SESSION
The following general objectives of the focus group session have been established:
To identify the main objectives, procedures and possible structure of SMARTherapy+ tool
To recognise a personal and institutional target group preferences.
To recognise the desired types of case studies that should be developed within the training materials including possible scenarios of gait physiotherapy protocols.
To define the educational needs in gait physiotherapy around EU countries.
To characterize the current knowledge and background of health professionals, especially those related with physiotherapy in gait.
To identify the knowledge areas required for the application of new technologies in the gait physiotherapy.
To assess the interest in the training topics.
Description of the most common gait pathologies in the practice.
An attempt to characterization of and/or systematization of knowledge about patients who are advised by specialists in gait physiotherapy (are they patients with specific diseases, civilization diseases; are the gait problems caused by improper lifestyle; are they elderly people etc.?)
Description of the most difficult case or cases in gait physiotherapy and presentation of possible difficulties and barriers in managing such patients. What support do experts use: literature, consultation with other physiotherapists etc.
Has the issues of gait physiotherapy been expanded with new methods, techniques, tools over the last 10 years? Is the number of patients with gait problems increasing? Are they mostly patients with a condition requiring ad hoc or permanent physiotherapy? What is the direction of gait physiotherapy development?
What kind of knowledge is not given within education process (studies) and what kind of knowledge needs to be supplemented by additional courses, trainings, literature etc. in order to be able to treat patient at the highest level?
What issues were only briefly discussed in the education process (studies) or were only discussed theoretically, but from the perspective of the current work experience are considered as important and necessary.
What is the opinion about online training in gait physiotherapy. What kind of feature the online course should include to be effective and meet the expectation of physiotherapist professionals. Definition of the strengths and weaknesses of online training.
SUT & AWF
Date: April 13, 2021 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The number of focus group session participants: 6 including moderator of the session, observer and experts in physiotherapy. The session lasted one hour, according to following structure:
Presentation of the SMARTherapy+ project – main idea and objectives.
Explanation the aim and the role of focus group session.
Brief presentation by each expert of his/her professional achievements (specialization, professional experience in physiotherapy including gait physiotherapy; place of professional practice; scientific publications etc.).
Interview and discussion about training needs for gait physiotherapy with the use of interview questionnaire.
Farewell and gratitude.
Fondazione has carried out the focus group on 7th of June 2021.
The focus group consisted of 4 high-level experts in gait physiotherapy and functional assessment, widely recognized in the sector at the Italian level (and not only). All of them operate in universities as academic researchers and are the head of private and public specialized laboratories for movement analysis in hospitals or public assistance structures. In addition, all the interviewed experts are members of the National Italian Physiotherapy Association (AIFI) and in particular, they belong to the board of the Scientific committee of AIFI.
Besides the main objectives of the focus group to discuss emerging training needs of physiotherapy professionals and the modern trends in gait analysis, the initiative was also the opportunity to communicate the SMARTherapy+ project to the Scientific board of the AIFI association and to make a preliminary check of matching interests of AIFI Board members to be involved in the future activities and initiatives of the Project. Interviewed experts shared a great interest in the project.
Hereafter two screenshots of the Focus Group activity.
The focus group interviews will be repeated at the University of Luebeck on 17th of June using the same interview guide developed by SUT and analysed in the same manner in order to combine and compare results. Similar to the procedure at SUT, the focus group interview will be held online using Webex and transcribed using the software.
First Scientific Seminar Priority Research Areas: “Computational oncology and personalized medicine”
Where: Silesian Uniwersity of Technology, online
SUT presented information about the project at the First Scientific Seminar Priority Research Areas: “Computational oncology and personalized medicine”, which took place on 06.11.2020, where the basic assumptions, objectives, and project intentions were presented. It was the opportunity to generate interest in the topic and the project among the academic community and collaborating external entities.
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