Espacios. Vol. 33 (1) 2012. Pág. 15
Satisfacción del Kinesiologista con las Tecnologías Ortopédicas y Traumatológicas
Physical Therapist Satisfaction with Orthopedic and Traumatology Technologies
Recibido: 20-03-2011 - Aprobado:
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Globalization, technological changes and evolution of means of communication are continuously invading homes, companies, offices, clinics and hospitals. Just as physical therapy is a health care area responsible for human functionality, that is, techniques for preventing and treating movement disorders. Physical therapy works at recovering movement, but it is also used to prevent pain in joints or to correct posture, among others, caused by diverse factors.
Technological innovation is evolving significantly with visible advances in constant scientific changes and modern techniques for developing knowledge in human societies. According to Mehry et. al. (1997) technology encompasses certain knowledge constituted for the generation and use of products and for the organization of human relations.
It can be affirmed that one of the greatest powers of human beings is their capacity to create knowledge and absorb it. Technology is nothing more than science applied to everyday human life, thus, the initiative of this study was guided by the need to obtain information about the satisfaction of physical therapists who work with orthopedics and conventional traumatology in relation to existing technologies in this area and used by them.
In this context, the general objective of this study was to assess the level of satisfaction of physical therapists who work with orthopedics and conventional traumatology in relation to existing technologies in this area. The specific objectives focused on verifying whether existing technologies in orthopedics and conventional traumatology improve the quality of physical therapy treatment; assist in increasing physical therapy productivity and analyze whether the professional's daily physical wear is reduced by using these technologies.
According to Martins (2003), technology can be conceptualized simply as the science of technique, where it is different from technique itself because it uses scientific knowledge. The concept is deeply tied to production and technological artifacts are the conventional image and what grant technology utility transmitted by the material value of its products. Lopes (2009) underscores that technology can have different meanings depending on the forms and contexts of its application.
The final product in the technological area is not knowledge as a published document but rather the technology that can be industrialized and sold: the method, process, equipment, device, that is, the product. Development directly involves the production of goods, the invention, the innovation, and it is therefore geared towards economic development (Battaglia, 1999).
Prates (2007) underscores that fierce competitiveness, the need for good positioning in the market, the search for quality of life at work, and consequently, in productivity, have driven organizations to invest in technology.
Technological advances resulting from industrialization occurred in the health area through the introduction of computers, modern and sophisticated devices that benefited and injected speed in the fight against disease. Advances are increasingly faster. Every moment different techniques, medical and surgical devices and modern pharmaceuticals emerge (Barra et al, 2006) (Jonson, Banta, 1999). This is due to the growing technical aspects of health care procedures, which makes this sector one of the most dynamic in relation to the absorption of new technologies, produced and consumed according to market logic (Barra et al, 2006).
Medical procedures that took hours or days to be conducted are now executed in minutes or seconds. Processes that demanded a certain number of people, exposing them to risks and damage, now use robots and computers. This led to an inevitable transformation in the how these professionals perform: once based almost entirely on their experience and intuition, diagnosing and treating patients began to amply depend on variables and results provided by technology (Lucatelli et. al. 2003). Thus Long, Perry (2008) underscored that service providing professionals require training to keep up to date with technological advances.
Waldrop (2003) affirms that in physical therapy the use of diverse forms of technology has also increased and he believes in the growing interest of professionals in the subject and in how the science of technique can help improve the service offered by physical therapists.
These professionals use techniques, electro-therapy – ultrasound, laser, electro-stimulation (Ferrari et. al. 2005), computerized equipment (Callegaro et. al. 2010) among other technologies, including in orthopedics and traumatology. All to help in the elaboration of a functional kinesiological diagnosis in prescription, planning, ordering, analysis, supervision and evaluation of patients' physical therapy activities (Federal Council on Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy – COFFITO).
The technology is especially used to improve the quality of physical therapy treatment and consequently help service growth. For such, simple, portable devices are used (Selker, 1995) associated with manual therapies, kinesiotherapy and other techniques (Lech et. al. 2000) aimed at improving the quality of service provided.
Furthermore, among the attributions of the physical therapist, COFFITO regulates: participation in multi-professional teams responsible for product development; quality control, analysis of development, health risk and use in the social environment; promotion of quality and product performance. According to Cayres et al (2005) a growing application of multidisciplinary projects can be observed that unite engineering and health areas, related to product development. These projects aim at treatment of diverse pathologies in a quick and effective manner.
Webster (2002) points out that the technologies are really successful when they make sense in the context of existing social relations in which they are inserted. Thus they are part of the rehabilitation process and assist the patient in getting back to his daily activities (Waldrop, Wojciechowski, 2007) and, according to Wilson (2001) computerized technology in physical therapy opens the door of rehabilitation to patients.
An exploratory and descriptive survey was conducted with qualitative-quantitative analysis of data in the city of Santa Maria, in the central region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Physical therapists who work in the city of Santa Maria participated in the study. They were contacted by phone or in person. The Term of Informed Consent was delivered first with the appropriate elucidations and explanations on how the survey would be run. This survey was approved by the Ethics Committee at the Federal University of Santa Maria, registered in the Research Office under number 0273.0.243.000-08.
A total of 83 professionals were contacted, 29 of which did not fit inclusion criteria because they did not work in the orthopedics and conventional traumatology area, and three did not want to participate in the survey. The other 51 physical therapists voluntarily accepted to participate in the survey and formalized their acceptance by signing the Term of Informed Consent.
Only those physical therapists who work in or teach in the orthopedics and traumatology area participated in the survey, regardless of the undergraduate teaching institution and the year of course completion. Physical therapists who, despite graduate studies in orthopedics and traumatology, have not worked or taught in that area for more than one year, and those who only work with manual therapies, were excluded.
The professionals who participated in the study were initially asked about their professional background and area of operations in order to fill out an identification card. All those in the sample replied a questionnaire elaborated by the researchers that consisted of twelve objective multiple choice questions - Likert Scale. The questionnaire was applied to the participants. The data were later tabulated and submitted to simple statistical analysis.
The answers to each question were submitted to simple statistical analysis which assessed which answers prevailed in each question in terms of frequency and percentage, as shown in Table 1. “Existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology meet the needs of the purpose they for which they are intended", with 29.41% of those interviewed agreeing with the question 27.45%.
Table 1 – Existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology
Table 1 refers to the interview’s first question, which affirmed: The existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology meet the needs of the purpose they for which they are intended", with 29.41% of those interviewed agreeing partially with the statement, opting for answer 5 in the Likert Scale, followed by 27.45% for answer 6.
The same analysis shown in the first (Table 1) was conducted with the other questions. The second question, which stated, “Existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology are easy to use", 37.25% of those interviewed agreed totally with the statement, followed by 35.29% who agreed partially.
The third question affirmed “Existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology are easy to maintain", 23.53% of those interviewed agreed partially and 21.57% opted for answer 3, and disagreed. This indicated that the answers remained in intermediate positions.
When it was stated that: “Existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology are efficient", efficiency in accordance with analysis shown in Table 2, 45.10% of those interviewed agreed partially and 19.61% agreed totally.
Table 2 – “Existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology are efficient”:
In the statement “Existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology help improve the quality of physical therapy care”, there was total agreement by 35.29%, followed by partial agreement by 31.37%.
The sixth statement said “Existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology assist in the efficacy of physical therapy treatment.” A total of 35.29% agreed partially and 31.37% agreed completely with the statement.
The seventh question (Table 3) affirmed “Existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology accelerate the patient’s recovery process.” A total of 41.18% of those interviewed said they agreed with the statement, 29.41% said they agreed totally, followed by 19.62% who agreed partially.
Table 3 – Existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology accelerate the patient’s recovery process
When asked about: “Existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology help solve clinical cases”—the eighth question, 3.92% of those interviewed disagreed partially, 21.57% stayed in the middle, 58.82% agreed partially and 15.59% agreed totally.
“The use of existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology permits greater daily productivity for the physical therapist” had total agreement from 33.33% of those interviewed, and partial agreement from 47.03%.
When asked about: “It is possible to care for a bigger number of patients daily due to technologies in orthopedics and traumatology", 37.25% of those interviewed agreed completely with the statement.
In relation to less daily physical wear on the physical therapist as a result of using existing technologies in orthopedics and traumatology, the opinions were more diversified, although option 6 prevailed - 23.53% agreed, observe Table 4.
Table 4 – Less physical wear on the physical therapist as a result of using technologies
The last question affirms: “It is not necessary to use much physical force when performing procedures in orthopedics and traumatology, thanks to existing technology,” 29.41% of those interviewed disagreed totally, while the remaining responses were divided among the six alternatives, where only five participants agreed totally.
1. Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vol. 33 (1) 2012