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Man Ther. 2010 Feb;15(1):93-9. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2009.08.003. Epub 2009 Sep 13.

Defining the construct of masters level clinical practice in manipulative physiotherapy.

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School of Health and Population Sciences, College of Medicine and Dentistry, 52 Pritchatts Road, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK. <>


The study is the first to have explored the behaviours indicative of the construct of masters level manipulative physiotherapy clinical practice. An exploratory case study was employed, using multiple methods of interviews and participant observation, informed by initial documentary analysis. One 'case' of a university postgraduate course in manipulative physiotherapy in the UK was selected. Purposive sampling identified the participants (clinical tutors and students). Data analysis was an iterative process developing inductive categories from the data through a constant comparative process. The identified analytic categories were subsequently linked to form theoretical propositions. Saturation of the data was achieved. Data collection was concurrent with a previously reported Delphi study and the findings of each showed convergence. A high level of clinical reasoning was identified as the most important behaviour associated with the construct for manipulative physiotherapy. This was then subdivided into core components of practice; prioritisation for example. This study provides a sound basis for future research by affording insight into the construct of masters level manipulative physiotherapy clinical practice. Convergence of data with the Delphi study supported validation of the construct. The trustworthiness of the findings appeared good, and therefore provides justification for use of the construct in informing curriculum development at masters level.

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