A new survey from RTE finds that physical therapy may be the best therapy for some people, while others need to be wary of using it too much.
The poll, conducted by YouGov, found that 61% of respondents said physical therapy was “good or very good” for their health.
However, it found that only a quarter of respondents were able to “completely eliminate the pain associated with their illness”.
“The survey shows that some people have a greater need for physical therapy than others,” said Richard Jones, RTE’s chief medical correspondent.
“We need to recognise that this needs to be done with care and to have a discussion about what it is that needs to get done in the future.”
It comes after research showed that only two out of five physical therapists felt “happy with their job”, and only one of three felt they were “comfortable” working with patients.
“This research highlights the need for people to be aware of the physical health of those who have their own health issues,” said Mr Jones.
“Some physical therapists will be at a loss to do their job without having to feel overwhelmed.”
The survey of 2,002 people, conducted between October 11 and 12, found the most common reason given for wanting to stop using physical therapy (42%), followed by “being afraid of physical therapy” (33%), “being unable to use it for personal health reasons” (30%), and “being too busy” (22%).
“There are lots of ways to get around the need to use physical therapy,” said RTE director of research, Professor Jonathan McInerney.
“You can say that physical therapists should only be able to provide treatment if the patient’s illness or disability makes them unable to do so.”RTE’s poll also found that people who have physical problems are often more likely to find physical therapy helpful than those who don’t.
“It’s good that people feel comfortable talking to a physical therapist but it’s not as good as it should be,” said Professor McInterney.