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Promoting effective interprofessional collaborative practice in the primary care setting: recommendations from Queensland physiotherapy private practitioners.

BACKGROUND: Physiotherapy private practitioners represent a growing proportion of Australia's primary care workforce; however, they face significant barriers in integrating seamlessly within interprofessional teams. Historically, the landscape of primary care in Australia has been one where many physiotherapists work in monoprofessional private practice facilities at dispersed locations, potentially limiting collaborative and coordinated care. The aim of this study was to investigate strategies recommended by physiotherapists to promote effective interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) within the Australian private practice setting.

METHODS: Using interpretive description as the guiding methodological framework, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 28 physiotherapists in 10 private practice sites in Queensland, Australia.

RESULTS: Data analysis produced three themes that characterised physiotherapy private practitioners' recommendations to improve IPCP: (a) the need for improved funding and compensation, particularly addressing the limitations of the Medicare Chronic Disease Management program; (b) the development of integrated and secure digital communication systems to facilitate better information exchange; and (c) prioritising professional development and training to enhance collaboration.

CONCLUSIONS: This research lays the groundwork for informed policy making to advance person-centred care and support the integration of services in the Australian healthcare system. The findings from this study indicate that promoting effective IPCP in physiotherapy private practice requires a comprehensive strategy that addresses systemic funding and compensation issues, enhances digital communication systems and optimises interprofessional education and training.

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