Physiotherapy Practice in Primary Health Care: A Survey of Physiotherapists in Team-Based Primary Care Organizations in Ontario Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Purpose: This study describes (1) the current state of physiotherapy practice in team-based primary care organizations in Ontario, (2) the perceived barriers to and facilitators of providing physiotherapy services, and (3) recommendations for improving how these services are provided. Method: This was a cross-sectional, web-based survey. We analyzed the responses using descriptive statistics and summative content analysis. Results: A total of 66 responses were received, and 61 were included in the final analysis. The respondents reported that most of their practice was directed toward musculoskeletal care, followed by multi-system, neurological, and cardiorespiratory conditions, and that most of their direct patient care was focused on in-person, one-to-one assessment or follow-up. Frequently identified barriers to providing physiotherapy services included a lack of space, resources, time, and equipment. The most common facilitators were support from management, recognition and support from other health care providers about the value and role of physiotherapists, and appropriate referrals from other health care providers. The most common recommendation was to increase the physiotherapist-to-patient ratio at primary care sites. Conclusions: Physiotherapists provide care to diverse populations in team-based primary care, which is influenced by specific barriers and facilitators. Our results highlight opportunities for physiotherapists in this context, such as increasing the provision of first-contact care and group-based interventions.


  • Vader, Kyle
  • Ashcroft, Rachelle
  • Bath, Brenna
  • Décary, Simon
  • Deslauriers, Simon
  • Desmeules, François
  • Donnelly, Catherine
  • Perreault, Kadija
  • Richardson, Julie
  • Wojkowski, Sarah
  • Miller, Jordan

publication date

  • January 1, 2022