Emancipatory practice: A model for physiotherapy practice?

Franziska Trede, Joy Higgs, Mark Jones, Ian Edwards

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    This paper explores the notion of emancipatory practice as a model for physiotherapy. Key characteristics of emancipatory practice are to question taken-for-granted practices, to critically reflect on one's current practices, and to transform practices as a result of questioning and reflecting. Emancipatory practice challenges biophysical-centred meanings and values, and the dominant ideology of physiotherapy practice. A number of current trends and findings warrant an examination of emancipatory practice,including: emerging conflicts between patient-centred and therapist-centred clinical roles; evidence generated from randomised controlled trials and case studies; and professional identities of physiotherapists ranging from technical scientists to caring patient advocates.The educational and practice implications of these challenges are that there is a need to rethink the status quo by addressing professional knowledge,the professional ideology underpinning education and practice, and clinical power inherent in practice from an emancipatory perspective. Adopting anemancipatory model of practice would change physiotherapy practice towards a more collaborative and egalitarian approach, with the emphasis one mancipating physiotherapists as well as patients. This paper, while focused on physiotherapy, has relevance for educators and practitioners of other health professions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalFocus on Health Professional Education: A multi-disciplinary journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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