|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 47-54
Perception of Indian physiotherapists to the application of physiotherapeutic intervention on animals
Dakshayani Nandkishor Gholap, Shyam D Ganvir
Department of Community Physiotherapy, Dr. Vithalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation's College of Physiotherapy, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Submission||02-Dec-2018|
|Date of Acceptance||09-Apr-2019|
|Date of Web Publication||3-Jul-2019|
Ms. Dakshayani Nandkishor Gholap
Dr. Vithalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation's College of Physiotherapy, Vilad Ghat, Ahmednagar - 414 111, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Animal rehabilitation is very well known and practiced in foreign countries with lot of literatures and research; on the contrary there is less research on animal rehabilitation in India. In new era demand and awareness about physiotherapy in animals has increased.
Aims and Objectives: To know the perception of Indian physiotherapists to the application of physiotherapeutic interventions on animals & to have knowledge of the level of awareness of animal rehabilitation among qualified Indian physiotherapists.
Materials and Methods: Self-structured questionnaire regarding the awareness of animal physiotherapy was developed and validated. The questionnaire was distributed through a link to the Indian Physiotherapists who belonged to registered association /council of physiotherapy from different states.
Result: Of the many questionnaires distributed, 178 people responded in which 94 (52.8%) were Private practitioners, 31(17.4%) were Teachers and 53 (29.8%) were PG students.40.4 % (n:70) PT's were aware of PT's practicing on Animals but had never seen. 69.1% (n:121) PT's said that there is a need to create a new branch in Physiotherapy related to Animals.
Conclusion: The result of this study concludes that for animal physiotherapy to be widely used, more awareness should be created among Indian physiotherapists as this field is still in infancy in India.
Keywords: Animal physiotherapy, Animal rehabilitation, Opinion physiotherapeutic application, Perception
|How to cite this article:|
Gholap DN, Ganvir SD. Perception of Indian physiotherapists to the application of physiotherapeutic intervention on animals. Indian J Phys Ther Res 2019;1:47-54
|How to cite this URL:|
Gholap DN, Ganvir SD. Perception of Indian physiotherapists to the application of physiotherapeutic intervention on animals. Indian J Phys Ther Res [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Oct 21];1:47-54. Available from: https://www.ijptr.org/text.asp?2019/1/1/47/261986
| Introduction|| |
The role of physiotherapy has widespread among hospital, community, industrial, and private setting. For the betterment of health and physical performance of the animals, the demand of more animal rehabilitation services is required. Injuries in animals can be served by veterinary treatment; but, there is less research on importance of rehabilitation of animals. Physiotherapy in animal practice is still in infancy, and in India, this field is not well recognized, and there is utmost need for creating more awareness about the same. However, it is a high potential area, and various methods can be used to reduce the convalescence duration and to increase postoperative efficacy of animals, especially in ruminants.
Animal physiotherapy is a growing profession of physiotherapists in foreign countries where physiotherapists have broadened their expertise from well-established human sphere to animals. As qualified physiotherapist play an important role for the development and benefit of animal performance, the need of animal rehabilitation is increasing day by day.
Perception of physiotherapy in human sphere and increased awareness strongly demand for physiotherapy in animals. Physiotherapy instigates positive changes like decrease in pain, promotes functional independence, joint flexibility, and mobility, and improves balance and coordination. The ultimate aim of physiotherapy is the restoration of the fullest functional activity possible. Animals also deserve the same.
In addition, animals are participating in sports in a wider range. Therefore, more owners are demanding for animal physiotherapy to increase animal flexibility and physical performance in sports such as agility, freestyle, or fly ball with their dogs, and dressage, 3-day eventing, reining and cutting, or barrel racing with their horses. Various sports demand greater physical performance of these animals; so, to overcome the larger risk of physical injury, animal healthcare intervention for animal rehabilitation is necessary to return these animals to full, pain-free function as quickly as possible.
In general, physiotherapy techniques such as manipulation/mobilization are applied to the animal patients in the management of back and neck pain. Furthermore, superficial heating modalities and exercises are given to reduce pain and spasm. Taylor suggested in their study that short-wave diathermy (SWD) is effective in the treatment of trunk fibrosis in four elephants using SWD. After a month of diathermy, the animals were able to feed themselves. The effect of physiotherapy treatment on canine patient with vestibular disease similar to human benign proximal positional vertigo was found effective in a single case study.
Animal-assisted therapy is an evolving field in which use of animals in the context of play therapy was found to be effective in reducing anxiety among hospitalized psychiatric patients. This implies that animal psychology plays important role in building therapeutic relationship. Levinson, the first mental health professional, discovered this potentially therapeutic relationship between animals and children accidentally while working with an uncommunicative patient who began speaking when she was introduced to Levinson's dog, Jingles.
Physiotherapy has excellent role in the thoroughbred racing industry in which common injuries in horses are treated by the physiotherapist. Furthermore, racehorse training is done in which pretraining regime; horse's schedules during racing; and racing terminology including speeds and paces used in training and racing are set by a physiotherapist and the racehorse trainer.
As the animal rehabilitation is very well known and practised in foreign countries with lots of literatures and research, on the contrary, there is very less research on animal rehabilitation in India.
As animal practice is not well recognized and is still in infancy, it is necessary to fully recognize as an additional education of animal rehabilitation among Indian physiotherapists to engage them into practice of animal rehabilitation.
| Materials and Methods|| |
Ethical committee approval was obtained from the Institutional Ethical Committee of College of Physiotherapy, Ahmednagar, before the commencement of research work. Self-structured questionnaire regarding the awareness of animal physiotherapy was developed and validated following consultation from experts and pilot testing of questionnaire. Survey form was distributed through a link to the Indian physiotherapists who belonged to physiotherapist-registered association/council of different state. The link was prepared on Google forms and was shared among Indian physiotherapist through WhatsApp, Facebook, and other sources. The questionnaire is a closed-ended question sheet consisting of two sections. Demographic detail, practice details, and years of experience of the respondent were also included in the first section to make sure that personal experience may also alter the response. The second section explored the physiotherapist's perception and attitude toward animal physiotherapy.
The question sheet includes the following questions: question regarding whether the human physiotherapists are aware of physiotherapists practicing on animals and agree/disagree of having their role in animal sciences. Question regarding whether preventive physiotherapy treatment can be used for animals to maintain normal movement and function. Question regarding awareness of animal psychology among human physiotherapists. Questions regarding perception of physiotherapists about practicing physiotherapy on animals and what physiotherapists feel about cooperation of animal with the therapist during the therapy. Questions saying whether physiotherapy will increase the productivity in animals and physiotherapists' knowledge about legality of practicing animal physiotherapy. Question regarding physiotherapists' opinion on giving medical attention to animals and what physiotherapists think about using prophylactic physiotherapy treatment for animals and their knowledge of prescription of orthotic device for animals. Question regarding physiotherapists opinion for creating a new branch in physiotherapy related to animals and whether physiotherapy on animals can help for actual demonstration. Question regarding whether human physiotherapists know that they can also opt for animal physiotherapy. The purpose of the study was explained on the cover page of the question sheet. Confidentiality of all responses was assured. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the obtained data.
| Results|| |
Percentage-wise response by the teachers, private practitioners, and PG students are shown in [Figure 1]. Based on questionnaires distributed; 178 people responded, in which 94 (52.8%) were private practitioners, 31 (17.4%) were teachers, and 53 (29.8%) were PG students [Table 1].
|Figure 1: Percentage of responses from PG Students, Private Practitioners, Teachers|
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Percentage-wise responses according to the year of experience are shown in [Figure 2]. The physiotherapists' clinical experience varied. 19 (10.7%) physiotherapists had clinical experience of more than 12 years, 26 (14.6%) had 8–12-year experience, 34 (19.1%) had 4–8-year experience, and 99 (55.6%) had 1–4-year experience.
The results of the questions are as follows:
- Are you aware of physiotherapists practicing on animals? [Figure 3]
- Yes. But I have never seen it - 40.4% (n = 72)
- No. But I would like to know about it - 36% (n = 64)
- Yes. But I have never practiced - 19.7% (n = 35)
- No. I am not interested - 3.9% (n = 7)
- Do you agree that a physiotherapist can have role in animal sciences? [Figure 4]
- Agree - 71.3% (n = 127)
- Strongly disagree - 3.9% (n = 7)
- Disagree - 1.1% (n = 2)
- Can't say - 14.6% (n = 26)
- May be they can - 9% (n = 16)
- Preventive physiotherapy treatment can be used for animals to maintain normal movement and function? [Figure 5]
- Yes - 64% (n = 114)
- No - 1.7% (n = 3)
- Can't say - 15.7% (n = 28)
- Maybe - 18.5% (n = 33)
- Are you aware of animal psychology? [Figure 6]
- I have heard about it - 42.7% (n = 76)
- No. I am not aware - 42.7% (n = 76)
- Yes. I have prior knowledge of it - 14.6% (n = 26)
- What do you think about practicing physiotherapy on animals? [Figure 7]
- I think it will be beneficial - 55.6% (n = 99)
- I have no idea about it, but I would like to know and practice it - 30.3% (n = 54)
- I don't want to practice on animals - 14% (n = 25)
- Animal would not be cooperative for treatment. What do you think? [Figure 8]
- They won't be cooperative - 4.5% (n = 8)
- They would be cooperative under proper care - 71.3% (n = 127)
- Can't say - 24.2% (n = 43)
- Will physiotherapy increase the productivity of animals? [Figure 9]
- Yes. It can - 46.1% (n = 82)
- May be it will - 50.6% (n = 90)
- It won't be that beneficial - 3.4% (n = 6)
- Do you think animal physiotherapy is legal/illegal? [Figure 10]
- Yes. It is legal - 46.1% (n = 82)
- Maybe it is illegal - 5.6% (n = 10)
- I don't know - 48.3% (n = 86)
- An animal can be prescribed orthotics by a physiotherapist? [Figure 11]
- Yes. A physiotherapist can prescribe if they have proper knowledge of it - 57.9% (n = 103)
- No. Only veterinarians can do that - 14.6% (n = 26)
- Maybe - 27.5% (n = 49)
- Do you think animals also require medical attention? [Figure 12]
- Yes - 94.4% (n = 168)
- No - 1.1% (n = 2)
- To a certain extent - 4.5% (n = 8)
- Do you think a prophylactic physiotherapy treatment can be used in veterinary sciences? [Figure 13]
- Yes - 67.4% (n = 120)
- No - 1.7% (n = 3)
- To a certain extent - 30.9% (n = 55)
- Is there a need to create a new branch in physiotherapy related to animals? [Figure 14]
- Yes - 69.1% (n = 123)
- No - 9.1% (n = 16)
- To a certain extent - 21.9% (n = 39)
- Can animal physiotherapy help for actual demonstration? [Figure 15]
- Yes - 51.1% (n = 91)
- No - 19.6% (n = 17)
- To a certain extent - 39.3% (n = 70)
- Do you know that a human physiotherapist can also opt for animal physiotherapy? [Figure 16]
- Yes - 35.4% (n = 63)
- No - 45.5% (n = 81)
- To a certain extent - 19.1% (n = 34).
|Figure 4: Percentage of consent regarding physiotherapists role in animal science|
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|Figure 5: Percentage of response regarding preventive physiotherapy treatment|
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|Figure 9: Percentage of response related to increase in the productivity of animal|
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|Figure 10: Percentage of response regarding knowledge of legal issues in animal physiotherapy|
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|Figure 13: Percentage of response regarding prophylactic treatment for animals|
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|Figure 15: Percentage of response for animal physiotherapy to be used for demonstration purpose|
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| Discussion|| |
Animal physiotherapy is promoted by various associations in foreign countries such as Ireland, Australia, The United States of America, Spain, and Canada since 1984, but there is no such association for advancement of animal rehabilitation in India. The supportive article and research done in other nations such as Belgium, Great Britain, South Africa, and Sweden shows much more awareness and current knowledge about animal rehabilitation among physiotherapists.
This study is about the perspective and awareness of physiotherapists to the application on physiotherapeutic interventions on animals. Of total 178 responses, though majority of them had never seen physiotherapists practicing on animals, they were aware of it (40.4%; n = 72).
Main roots of information about animal physiotherapy were veterinary colleagues, animal owners, professional journals, and physiotherapists. As per Adolf Doyle's study conducted in 2006, animal physiotherapists can have role in modern veterinary medicine; this was acknowledged by majority of the Irish veterinary surgeons. They put forward that they need to have knowledge and access to animal physiotherapists for animal physiotherapy to be widely used.
In the current study, questions used for awareness are Q.1, 2, 4, and 14, and Q.3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 are related to the opinion of physiotherapists to the application of physiotherapeutic interventions on animals.
Awareness from the 178 responses shows that in Q.1, 40.4% (n = 70) physiotherapists were aware of physiotherapists practicing on animals but had never seen it, in which 11 were teachers, 36 were private practitioners, and 23 were PG students. 36% (n = 62) physiotherapists which include 20 PG students, 8 teachers, and 34 private practitioners were not aware of the same and were eager to know about it. 19.7% (n = 36) physiotherapists were aware of the same but had never practiced which had 10 PG students, 6 teachers, and 20 private practitioners. 3.9% (n = 7) physiotherapists were not interested in which 6 were teachers and 1 was a private practitioner.
In Q.2, 71.3% (n = 125) physiotherapists agreed that a physiotherapist can have role in animal sciences i.e., 18 teachers, 43 PG students, and 64 private practitioners. 9% (n = 16) physiotherapists said that may be they can have role. 14.6% (n = 26) were not sure about the same. 3.9% (n = 7) physiotherapists strongly disagreed about having their role in animal sciences. 1.1% (n = 2) disagreed. 19 teachers, 64 private practitioners, and 43 teachers agreed that they can have role in animal sciences.
In Q.4, 14.6% (n = 26) physiotherapists had prior knowledge of animal psychology in which there were 7 teachers, 14 private practitioners, and 5 PG students. 42.7% (n = 76) Physiotherapy (PT) had heard about it before and 42.7% (n = 76) others were not aware.
In Q.14, 35.4% (n = 63) physiotherapists knew that they can opt for animal physiotherapy. 45.5% (n = 81) were unaware, i.e., 11 teachers, 44 private practitioners, and 26 PG students. 19.1% (n = 34) knew to a certain extent.
Opinion from the 178 responses shows that in Q.3 64% (n = 114) 14 Teachers, 64 Private practioners and 36 PG student's physiotherapists felt preventive physiotherapy treatment can be used for animals to maintain normal movement and function.18.5% (n = 33) felt that it can be used. 15.7% (n = 28) physiotherapists were not sure and 1.7% (n = 3) believed that preventive physiotherapy cannot be used for animals.
In Q.5, 55.6% (n = 99) physiotherapists said that practicing physiotherapy on animals will be beneficial: 18 teachers, 50 private practitioners, and 32 PG students and 14% physiotherapists said that they do not want to practice on animals which included 8 teachers, 12 private practitioners, and 4 PG students. In Q.6, 4.5% (n = 8) said animals will not be cooperative for treatment and 71.3% (n = 127) PTs said that animals would be cooperative under proper care, this included 20 teachers, 70 private practitioners, and 37 PG students.
In Q.7, 46.1% (n = 82) said that physiotherapy will increase the productivity in animals, this component included 9 teachers, 50 private practitioners, and 23 PG students. 3.4% (n = 6) believed that it will not be that beneficial.
In Q.8, 46.1% (n = 82) physiotherapists knew that animal physiotherapy is legal, and 48.3% (n = 86) were not aware about legality.
In Q.9, 57.9% (n = 103) said that a physiotherapist can prescribe orthotic to animal if they have proper knowledge of it and 14.6% (n = 26) said only veterinarians can do that.
In Q.10, 94.4% (n = 168) physiotherapists said animals also require medical attention and 4.5% (n = 8) said they need attention to certain extent. About 1.1% (n = 2) said animals do not need medical attention.
In Q.11, 67.4% (n = 120) physiotherapists said that physiotherapy treatment can be used in veterinary sciences. 1.7% (n = 3) said it cannot be used and 30.9% (n = 55) believed that it can be used to a certain extent.
In Q.12, 69.1% (n = 121) physiotherapists said that there is a need to create a new branch in physiotherapy related to animals, i.e., 20 teachers, 40 PG students, and 61 private practitioners. 9% (n = 16) said there is no need to create a new branch. 21.9% (n = 39) said that there is a need to create a new branch in physiotherapy related to animals to a certain extent.
In Q.13, 51.1% (n = 91) felt that animal physiotherapy can help for actual demonstration. 39.3% (n = 70) said it can be used to a certain extent and 19.6% (n = 17), i.e., 10 teachers, 38 private practitioners, and 22 PG students said it is not helpful for actual demonstration purpose.
Toward many aspects of physiotherapy, the physiotherapists had positive opinion independent of whether they had ever witnessed for animal physiotherapy practice before or not. Majority of examinee shared positive response. Surely, they may have assimilated more about animal physiotherapy by being a part of this study. The restraint to this study was that we were not able to reach all the registered physiotherapists who belonged to registered association/council of different states in India.
There is a need to establish memorandum of understanding between the veterinary and physiotherapy professionals for the development of field of animal rehabilitation.
| Conclusion|| |
This result of this study concludes that for animal physiotherapy to be widely used, more awareness should be created among Indian physiotherapists as this field is still in infancy in India. Among all the respondents, many human physiotherapists were positively aware of physiotherapists practicing on animal and few of them responded to create a new branch in animal physiotherapy.
I would like to express my special thanks of gratitude to my guide Dr. Shyam D. Ganvir (Principal), Dr. Abhijit Diwate (Deputy Director) and my respected professors, who supported me throughout the course of this project. I would also like to thank my parents and friends for their aspiring guidance and friendly advice during the project work.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8], [Figure 9], [Figure 10], [Figure 11], [Figure 12], [Figure 13], [Figure 14], [Figure 15], [Figure 16]