Meeting current needs in mental health physical therapy: a qualitative study of students' experiences Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2022

start page

  • 429

end page

  • 442


  • 5


  • 17

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1755-6228

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2042-8707


  • Purpose: The aim of this study was directed toward how a group of fourth year bachelor physiotherapy students describes their experiences, attitudes and beliefs from participating in a course of 40 h lasting three months in basic body awareness therapy (BBAT). Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative study using phenomenological exploratory design was conducted. A total of 125 physiotherapy students within the subject of mental health physiotherapy, in the fourth year's study course belonging participated. The BBAT introduction course consisted of 20 h theory and 20 h practical implementation with a particular focus on promoting movement quality through a movement awareness learning strategy. The course was carried out through three consecutive years. Data were collected through using focus group interview at the end of each movement session and qualitative face-to-face research interview at the end of the whole course. Findings: The data-analysis revealed 16 emerging themes grouped into four categories: physical perceptions, body awareness characteristics, self-awareness and body awareness professional development. Research limitations/implications: This study highlights key experiences after attending a course on BBAT. In addition, it points out that to achieve movement quality awareness among the students, there is a need to include more self-training in the curriculum. Practical implications: The movement quality learning process is necessary to develop the mental health physiotherapy program. The experiences of students while body awareness learning process included physical perceptions, body awareness characteristics, self-awareness and professional development. Originality/value: This study is among the first to describe the experiences of students when a movement awareness learning methodology is applied. In physiotherapy in mental health, this learning process is relevant for the application of BBAT.


  • Information Science


  • awareness; education degree; mental health; movement awareness; movement quality; physiotherapy