2016 Volume 28 Issue 12 Pages 3435-3439
[Purpose] Over the years physiotherapy has been recognized as a popular mode of treatment that decreases the disability and dependency rate of patients. However, there is still a need for its recognition in multidisciplinary health care structures. If a physician were well aware of how a physical therapist could help with treatment if patients and prevent complications, hospital patient load could be decreased to a greater extent. The aim of this study was to study the awareness, perception and beliefs of physicians working in Saudi Arabia about physiotherapy. [Subjects and Methods] Three hundred fifteen members of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS) with different specialties, nationalities, designation, and work experience, working in various hospitals in 5 regions of Saudi Arabia were invited to participate in this study. A 22-item questionnaire was used for data collection including sections on physicians’ demographics, educational levels and knowledge about physiotherapy. [Results] After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, data from 280 respondents was used for analysis. Seventy-five percent of respondents reported to having some knowledge of physiotherapy, and 11% of them referred patients to physiotherapy departments regularly, while 14% referred patients occasionally. To the best of our knowledge, this is first study performed in Saudi Arabia to evaluate awareness of physicians about the physiotherapy profession. [Conclusion] The results of this study highlight the need to organize various workshops and lectures about the effectiveness of physiotherapy in various diseases for physicians, on a regular basis, to update them with evidence-based treatment. It is the responsibility of physical therapists to raise the perceptions of other healthcare professionals about their profession.