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Examining the impact of non-medical prescribing on the role identity of Physiotherapists - A mixed methods study

Non-medical prescribing (NMP) has become an integral part of orthodox medical care within the United Kingdom. Nurses and Pharmacists have full access to the British National Formulary (BNF).  Physiotherapists have been able to undertake further training to become independent prescribers since 2013; however, they have limited access to prescribing a pre-defined list of controlled drugs.

To date, less than three percent of physiotherapists have taken up the option of training to become independent prescribers, leading to a cohort markedly smaller than represented by both nursing and pharmacy. This is despite the use of physiotherapists as first contact practitioners. There is a lack of published literature relating to how the profession is engaging with prescribing.

I am therefore conducting a study to develop a theory in order to understand what is happening within the physiotherapy profession with relation to the impact of non-medical prescribing using Grounded Theory a qualitative methodology suited to development of theory.

I intend to use a multiphase study utilising methods including interviews, and questionnaires using constant comparative analysis of findings to develop theory in order to understand the relatively low uptake of physiotherapists and investigate how physiotherapists approach non-medical prescribing with concomitant influence on their role identity.

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