Self-reported characteristics of people seeking primary care physiotherapy in Denmark: A cross-sectional study

Julie Rønne Pedersen*, Jan Hartvigsen, Morten Hoegh, Jonas Bloch Thorlund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Limited knowledge exists on the self-reported characteristics of patients seeking primary care physiotherapy in Denmark.

Objectives: To describe primary symptom site, co-occurrent pain sites, pain intensity, symptom duration, and number of symptom episodes in patients seeking primary care physiotherapy using patient-reported data.

Methods: Cross-sectional study of patients seeking primary care physiotherapy within a nationwide network of clinics in Denmark (FysioDanmark® ). Data from the FysioDanmark® clinical database with patient-reported information obtained from questionnaires distributed to patients prior to their first consultation were used. This included primary symptom site, co-occurrent pain sites, pain intensity (0-10 numeric rating scale), symptom duration, and number of symptom episodes.

Results: Data from 61,097 patients (57% female) aged 42 years (interquartile range 29-53) and 63,566 first visits were included. The most common reasons for seeking care were back- (22.9%), non-specific- (19.8%) and shoulder symptoms (15.9%). The majority of patients (89.4%) reported symptoms lasting longer than 7 days, and many experienced recurrent episodes. Median pain intensity ranged from 3 to 5 across primary symptom sites and age groups. In general, females reported higher pain intensity than males.

Conclusion: Danish patients seeking primary care physiotherapy most commonly presented with back, non-specific, and shoulder symptoms, with mild-to-moderate pain lasting longer than 7 days, and many with recurrent episodes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2068
JournalPhysiotherapy Research International
Volume29
Issue number1
Number of pages8
ISSN1358-2267
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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