Physical Therapy

Physiotherapy acts in practically all areas of medicine, including techniques and procedures for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of the bone, muscle, neurological, pulmonary and cardiovascular system. Its effectiveness depends on the quality and quantity of sessions held, which vary according to the problem to be treated.

Many times, the physiotherapy treatment is long and the patients are discouraged during the process, which can impair their recovery. It is up to the physiotherapist to identify this situation and seek ways to reverse it.

To help you, we prepared this text with tips on how to deal with the patient demotivated in physiotherapy. Check it out!

Why do patients lose motivation in physical therapy?

Motivation can be defined as the internal impulse of a person to perform a certain action, that is, it is the set of reasons that lead the individual to do something. It is a dynamic characteristic, which changes according to internal and external variables, and is related to the intensity, persistence and direction of the effort exerted to achieve some objective.

In the context of physiotherapy, the patient needs to be motivated to have a good adherence to treatment, performing all prescribed exercises and engaging during the sessions.

It is not uncommon for the patient to be demotivated throughout the treatment. As mentioned, this situation may be related to internal or external factors, but the interns are usually the most important.

What often happens is that the patient expects to have quick and miraculous results with the physiotherapy, and when this does not happen he feels disappointed and, consequently, discouraged. With this, he starts to have less effort to perform the techniques and the physiotherapeutic exercises, as much during the session as at home.

The patient’s own illness or condition can also contribute for him to be discouraged, especially when it brings a great discomfort, pain or limits his activities of the day to day.

Normally, external factors are not the main cause of discouragement, but they contribute to its increase. Some external factors may contribute to the patient’s lack of motivation:

  • not like the schedule or frequency of physiotherapy sessions;
  • not liking the professional;
  • devices and equipment with low quality for the performance of physiotherapy;
  • worsening of the underlying disease.

How to reverse the situation?

It is very important to identify the discouraged patient and seek ways to reverse this situation, because it decreases the performance in physiotherapy, which impairs rehabilitation. If the demotivation is not reversed, the person may even drop the treatment completely.

To prevent this from happening, we list some tips that help to deal with the discouraged patient. Follow up!

Identify demotivation

The first step is to identify the patient who is demotivated and, if possible, also detect the factors that contributed to the decrease in motivation. Thorough observation of the person and their behavior is the best way to perceive this.

A motivated patient usually seems high in mood, asks about the therapy and accepts well the exercises passed by the physiotherapist. On the other hand, the discouraged patient presents a lower astral, is not interested in the therapy and, many times, refuses or simply does not perform the indicated exercises.

After identifying the lack of motivation, it is time to find out why this situation is happening. This can be done through an open conversation, based on the relationship of trust created between you.

Talk to the patient

It is necessary to be always attentive to what the patient says, listening to his wishes, desires and complaints. This ensures that you are aware of what he expects from physiotherapy and what points bother him or bring difficulties. Knowing how to listen and create a relationship of trust is one of your responsibilities during treatment.

But it is not enough just to listen to the patient, it is also necessary to communicate to him all the issues related to the disease and the exercises that are performed, besides removing all your doubts.

It is much more likely that the patient feels motivated to continue the treatment if he clearly understands what the exercises are for and how they help in recovery.

Invest in the environment

The quality of the environment in which physiotherapy is performed plays an important role in the well-being of patients. Providing a pleasant environment, with quality equipment and a humanized and qualified team are essential points in the management of motivation.

The concern with the environment should start already in the reception, with the organization of the physical environment and the training of secretaries and receptionists. The exercise room and the office should also be organized to please and motivate patients.

Use different techniques

One of the main points of complaint of patients, and which can lead to demotivation, is the repetitiveness of the exercises, which are often identical in all extensive sessions.

To avoid this problem, you can – and should – use different techniques and vary the types of exercises that are performed each session. The devices used can be alternated each session or the same devices can be used in different ways.

The important thing is to bring innovations to each session and teach new techniques to the patient, encouraging their engagement.

Act a little as a coach

Coaching is a service model widely used today, and includes several techniques that have as their main objective to encourage a change in posture and positioning of the person being served. The entire process is based on the patient’s own reflection, focusing on strengths and problem solving.

Physiotherapy coaching is a trend in the sector, and is based on the promotion of the patient’s autonomy, which, consequently, also stimulates their motivation.

In this method, you work with the patient to find the strengths and determine the posture he needs to have to recover from his health problem and stay healthy.

Show the benefits of treatment

Finally, a great way to reverse the situation of the discouraged patient is to show them the various benefits that physiotherapy brings to their health and well-being. Some of the main factors that can be pointed out are:

  • improvement and prevention of depression, by relaxing the mind, reducing pain and insomnia and fighting the feeling of loneliness;
  • strengthening of bones and muscles and recovery of movements;
  • improvement of confidence and self-esteem;
  • action in the prevention, promotion and recovery of health.

As you can see, you need to learn how to deal with a demotivated patient to ensure that the treatment is done in the best possible way to the end.