The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


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National survey of Lecturer/Practitioners in physiotherapy


Purpose The purpose of this investigation was to identify variations that existed in Lecturer/Practitioner roles and the need for a national support network.

Procedure Twenty-eight academic physiotherapy departments were contacted to establish whether Lecturer/Practitioners were employed. Questionnaires were sent to named individuals employed as Lecturer/Practitioners. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and themed content analysis for open-ended responses.

Main findings Twenty-four physiotherapists were identified from eight universities in England and Northern Ireland and 19 responded. Mean length of time from qualification was 12 years. Specialities within which Lecturer/Practitioners were employed varied, with the most frequent being musculoskeletal. Eleven respondents had fixed-term contracts of employment, and only six had permanent contracts. Lecturer/Practitioners identified a three-way split between clinical work, academic teaching, and research. The time for each component was not consistent. Most Lecturer/Practitioners identified that they were working in excess of their contractual hours. Whilst it was identified that this role is beneficial for career development, primary concerns around time management, the job split, difficulty keeping up to date, and lack of personal development were highlighted.

Conclusion This is the first survey to examine the role of the physiotherapy Lecturer/Practitioner in some detail. It is essential for those applying for such positions and for those employing Lecturer/Practitioners to provide realistic achievable aims within the role. As a conclusion of this survey, a web-based support network has been established.

Cite this article

National survey of Lecturer/Practitioners in physiotherapy K. Stevenson, A.V. Chadwick, S.M. Hunter Physiotherapy - September 2004 (Vol. 90, Issue 3, Pages 139-144, DOI: 10.1016/


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