Original Research

Exploring the collaborative care of patients with pelvic fractures in Tshwane, South Africa

Ntombenkosi A. Sobantu, Muziwakhe D. Tshabalala, Verusia Chetty
South African Family Practice | Vol 65, No 1 : Part 2| a5705 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v65i1.5705 | © 2023 Ntombenkosi A. Sobantu, Muziwakhe D. Tshabalala, Verusia Chetty | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 December 2022 | Published: 26 May 2023

About the author(s)

Ntombenkosi A. Sobantu, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Health Care Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Muziwakhe D. Tshabalala, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Health Care Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Verusia Chetty, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Pelvic fractures are complex injuries that lead to long-term disabilities and poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Even though pelvic fractures are known to be challenging to manage, there is limited information on guidelines and protocols to ensure that patients receive comprehensive and collaborative healthcare.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive phenomenological approach was utilised to explore current practices and innovations of healthcare professionals (HPs) in Tshwane academic hospitals in the collaborative management and rehabilitation of patients with pelvic fractures, using semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data.

Results: Six overarching themes were identified from the interviews with HPs: The biopsychosocial lens of the patient, limitations in approaches to care, contextual impediments to care, the team challenge; the biopsychosocial aspects of care and forging forward to improve care.

Conclusion: A multidisciplinary approach is encouraged for the comprehensive management of pelvic fractures. However, a poor understanding of roles and poor referral structures challenge this approach. Further barriers to caring include staff shortages and limited resources. Healthcare professionals recommended interprofessional education and collaborative practice, student training and using standardised outcome measurement tools to improve care for patients with pelvic fractures.

Contribution: This study lays a foundation to initiate conversations about the development of an interprofessional model of care for patients with pelvic fractures. Findings might inform health policies on the management of pelvic fractures. Healthcare professionals might apply strategies that enhance the quality of healthcare provided. Patients with pelvic fractures might receive quality interprofessional healthcare that promotes quality of life, post pelvic fractures.

 


Keywords

pelvic fractures; health-related quality of life; rehabilitation; healthcare; interprofessional collaboration; South Africa

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