Patients' experience regarding therapeutic person-centered relationships in physiotherapy services: A qualitative study Articles uri icon


publication date

  • April 2019

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0959-3985

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-5040


  • Introduction: Person-centered care has emerged as a key principle in the provision of health and rehabilitation services. To implement this approach, health professionals must strive to develop a person-centered therapeutic relationship. The aim of this study was to explore the barriers and facilitators for the establishment of a person-centered relationship, based on the experience of physiotherapy patients. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted based on four focus groups including 31 participants. The focus group discussions were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically using the method of constant comparisons. Results: Patients described specific traits, characteristics and behaviors relating to the health professional, the patient and the environment, that they felt may hinder or favor the establishment of therapeutic person-centered relationships. Some participants focused on aspects concerning the health professional, both regarding their characteristics as well as their relational skills, meaning that the physiotherapist may be responsible for using several strategies in order to put the person at the center of care. Conclusions: Person-centered care and the therapeutic relationship are important aspects in the field of rehabilitation, requiring further studies to improve our understanding of the same, and to inform both health professionals, and managers of health institutions.


  • physiotherapy; professional-patient relations; qualitative research; quality of health care; patient centered care; shared decision-making; care; rehabilitation; health; elements; satisfaction; perspective; continuity