Inherent Power Imbalance In The Physiotherapist

Inherent Power Imbalance In The Physiotherapist

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Inherent Power Imbalance In The Physiotherapist

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Inherent Power Imbalance In The Physiotherapist

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Write a reflection about obtain the clints informed consent befor acting and acknowledge the inherent power imbalance in the physiotherapist working in aged care- Client therapeutic relationship.
According to the Code of Conduct under the Physiotherapy Board of Australia, an individual gives informed consent to demonstrate his or her voluntary decision in accordance to understanding and knowledge of healthcare benefits and risks (, 2018). According to Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, during informed consent, physiotherapists should share information with clients to know about their wishes, needs, preferences and nature of condition (Hammond, Cross & Moore, 2016). As a physiotherapist, I need to conduct good practice as obtaining informed consent before undertaking any investigation or examination.

For obtaining informed consent, I will not try to influence my decision on my clients and allow them to take their own decisions about participation in the physiotherapy session. Within my scope for practice, I have to provide intelligible and adequate information about the physical therapy session to my clients providing clear explanation of important parameters. The planned assessment or examination, diagnosis, evaluation and prognosis, interventions, risks, expected benefits, anticipated time period, costs and any alternatives (Galeoto et al., 2015). Most importantly, I have to ascertain that whether my client has the ability to understand the above parameters in seeking consent as in case of aged care. In addition, I also need to record in my documentation confirming that informed consent is taken. While taking consent, it is my responsibility to comply with the codes of conduct, professional standards and ethical principles in physiotherapy.
After the procedure, I learned that informed consent is crucial and as a physiotherapist, I need to be aware of it before undertaking any session that greatly affects my practice. I understand that in my profession, I need to engage directly with patients and through informed consent; I will be able to construct a therapeutic relationship with my client aiming to build rapport and trust.  Moreover, I also learned that informed consent acts as a communication medium that nudge patients into consenting for evaluation, assessments and treatments. Informed consent is a crucial component at the professional level and educational programs in physical therapy (Cameron et al., 2013).
The activity of informed consent greatly influenced my scope of practice in physiotherapy. Although, client autonomy is important in a physiotherapy session, a shared decision-making is embedded in a client-therapist relationship. This helps to build rapport and trust and impose legal and ethical obligations in physiotherapy practice (Josephson et al., 2015).
Apart from therapeutic relationship, there should also be acknowledgement of maintaining professional boundaries with clients. I understood that I have to maintain a therapeutic relationship with my client and imbalance of power inherent in the client-therapist relationship. This can be explained in manner that as a physiotherapist, there is an existence of element of risk in having both personal as well as therapeutic relationship with client simultaneously. In such cases, there is inherent power imbalance and difficulty in maintaining therapeutic relationship. The components of therapeutic relationship place the needs and preferences of clients at the foremost within the core of professional practice. In this relationship, professional needs to consider and manage boundaries of power, respect, trust and closeness with clients (, 2018).      
Cameron, I. D., Fairhall, N., Langron, C., Lockwood, K., Monaghan, N., Aggar, C., … & Kurrle, S. E. (2013). A multifactorial interdisciplinary intervention reduces frailty in older people: randomized trial. BMC medicine, 11(1), 65.
Galeoto, G., Mollica, R., Astorino, O., & Cecchi, R. (2015). Informed consent in physiotherapy: proposal of a form. Giornale italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia, 37(4), 245-254.
Hammond, R., Cross, V., & Moore, A. (2016). The construction of professional identity by physiotherapists: a qualitative study. Physiotherapy, 102(1), 71-77.
Josephson, I., Woodward-Kron, R., Delany, C., & Hiller, A. (2015). Evaluative language in physiotherapy practice: How does it contribute to the therapeutic relationship?. Social Science & Medicine, 143, 128-136. (2018). Physiotherapy Board of Australia – Code of conduct. Retrieved 13 February 2018, from

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