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An article was published in 20141 reporting on an audit of the Membership of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Reflextherapy (ACPIRT). This article reflects on the outcome of the audit in the context of a treatment tool in physiotherapy and allied health professions in the United Kingdom and abroad.
Background: ACPIRT was established in 1992 by Christine Jones, physiotherapist, and associated colleagues to provide a clinical interest group for physiotherapists and allied health professionals practising reflextherapy (RT), a manual therapy applied to the feet (or hands) similar and akin to reflexology. The audit was carried out in 2009 to establish a professional profile of members and to document their clinical experiences in using RT in healthcare.
Methodology: 161 ACPIRT members were sent a postal questionnaire (including a stamped return envelope) regarding their experience using RT treating patients in the NHS and/or in private practice. One hundred (62%) members responded.
A pilot study was carried out prior to the main enquiry including 14 ACPIRT committee members. Their results were included in the final audit result.
Aims: i) To describe members’ demographics, work environments and opinions of the value of RT in healthcare.
- ii) To describe the historical background and development of RT to become an accepted therapeutic intervention by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
Results: Sixty-eight respondents (68%) considered RT ‘very good’, ‘good’ and ‘as good as’ orthodox physiotherapy. Fifty-eight respondents (58%) thought RT had a 25% placebo effect. No one considered RT to have a 100% placebo effect. Overwhelmingly, 95 respondents (95%) reported ‘relaxation’, ‘reduced stress’ and ‘reduced pain’ as main benefits of the treatment. A few respondents reported ‘increased fertility’, ‘improved bowel function’ and ‘reduced appetite’. Comments were made on the future of RT and recommendation for a Foundation Course. The results showed a mature, highly experienced professional membership with a female gender bias.
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