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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 16, No. 1, 2016, pp. 266-275
Bioline Code: hs16036
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2016, pp. 266-275

 en Acute burns of the hands – physiotherapy perspective.
Dunpath, Tanuja; Chetty, Verusia & Van Der Reyden, Dain


Background: Acute burns of the hands are complex and may impact on various aspects of a person’s life. Physiotherapy rehabilitation and restoration of hand function is critical for the patient’s independence and re-integration into society.
Purpose: This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of physiotherapists in the management of patients with their hand burn injuries.
Method: Five focus groups consisting of physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants working with burn injured patients from each of the five selected public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal were recruited. An explorative qualitative approach was adopted.
Results: Physiotherapists emphasised that the acute management of the hand was trivialised due to a primary focus on the survival of the burn sufferer. Therapists identified several factors that determined the patients’ level of participation and motivation in therapy one of which was the procedural pain experienced. The role of the therapists’ within the rehabilitation framework was found to be critical to their recovery however there appeared to be a breakdown in the collaboration and communication among health care professionals to the detriment of effective intervention.
Conclusion: A multidisciplinary team approach is the foundation in the management of acute burn injuries and during the trajectory of the trauma care continuum.

Burns of the hands; physiotherapy perspective

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