Community-Based Primary Healthcare Training for Physiotherapy Undergraduates: Perceptions of Physiotherapy Academics

  •  Geneshree Govender    
  •  Nomzamo Chemane    
  •  Saul Cobbing    
  •  Verusia Chetty    


Community-based primary healthcare training for health science students is based on the tenets of primary healthcare. The approach seeks to provide clinical education and training for health science students in previously disenfranchised communities. Some South African universities train their physiotherapy students through a community-based primary healthcare approach to undergraduate training. However, there is currently a lack of an integrated model guiding clinical education for physiotherapy clinical education in the country. The aim of this paper was to explore the perceptions of physiotherapy academics about a novel, community-based primary healthcare approach to clinical education for students at a university in South Africa. This study sought to inform the roll-out of an evidence-based model for physiotherapy education. A qualitative explorative approach, using semi-structured interviews with physiotherapy academics at the institution, was used to explore their perceptions of the community-based primary healthcare training platform. Data was analysed using conventional content analysis and was classified into themes and sub-themes. Four overarching themes emerged, namely: curriculum review, constraints to decentralised learning, benefits of community-based clinical education and recommendations for the learning platform. Participating academics believed that community-based primary healthcare training is an approach that influences students to be socially responsive, while providing access to healthcare services, such as rehabilitation, in resource-poor communities in South Africa.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.