Advanced Physiotherapy Practice: A qualitative study on the potential challenges and barriers to implementation in Ghana

Andrews Kwabena Tawiah, Alan Borthwick, Linda Woodhouse
  • Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, June 2018, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/09593985.2018.1484535

Challenges and barriers to Advanced Physiotherapy Practice (APP) in Ghana.

What is it about?

Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioners have the skills to address complex decision-making processes and manage risk in unpredictable contexts. The roles they perform include; triage and assessment of complex musculoskeletal patients, independent prescribing, injection therapy and ordering of diagnostic imaging. Although the challenges and barriers to implementing APP are well documented in developed countries, these challenges haven't been examined in developing countries. This paper examines the potential challenges and barriers to establishing advanced practice roles in Ghana as described by physiotherapists and an orthopaedic surgeon.

Why is it important?

Participants described jurisdictional disputes, support from healthcare management, a change in legislation and the need for advanced level training as potential challenges to APP roles. Adequately addressing these barriers could lead to a successful implementation of APP. This could augment the much-needed shortage in health care providers, especially in the rural setting for developing countries.


Andrews Tawiah (Author)
University of Alberta

This paper is the first to examine the potential for APP in developing countries. Findings from this study could help pave the way and start the discussion of establishing APP roles in developing countries. It has the potential to enable physiotherapist to make a maximum impact within health care delivery in developing countries and low resource areas in developed countries. Writing this article was a great pleasure as it has co-authors who are experts in developing and establishing advanced roles in physiotherapy and podiatry.

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The following have contributed to this page: Andrews Tawiah