Current clinical practices, experiences, and perspectives of healthcare practitioners who attend to dysfunctional breathing : a qualitative study
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Citation:Shaw, J. (2016). Current clinical practices, experiences, and perspectives of healthcare practitioners who attend to dysfunctional breathing : a qualitative study. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/3654
The under-recognised and often misdiagnosed condition of dysfunctional breathing (DB) requires urgent critical investigation of the practices, experiences, and perspectives that underlie current clinical practice. The objective was to explore current clinical practices, experiences, and perspectives of healthcare practitioners currently attending to DB. This qualitative exploratory study employed interpretive description. Referral and snowball sampling recruited six participants. Data collection methods involved semi-structured in- depth interviews with three osteopaths and three physiotherapists. Interviews were deconstructed and analysed, and themes were developed. The complex journey to optimal breathing emerged as the overarching theme in narratives of the participants’ own experiences. Three sub-themes were developed highlighting the complex nature of DB: 1) missed by both patient and practitioner, 2) re-establishing a mind-body connection, and 3) a multifaceted approach is key. Findings suggest that there is a general lack of awareness surrounding DB by the general population and possibly by many healthcare practitioners. A lack of identification impacts patient quality of life and can lead to chronic musculoskeletal adaptations. Establishing a mind-body connection allows patients to establish a level of body awareness that allows a change in their breathing pattern back to an efficient and relaxed state that impacts presenting symptoms. A multifaceted approach to treatment is critical to making maximum changes and optimising clinical outcomes.