Physiotherapy management strategies for women post-caesarean section delivery in public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Frantz, Jose M.
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South Africa has seen a steady increase in the rate of caesarean section deliveries, and while physiotherapists are often requested to treat these patients, there are no guidelines on their physiotherapeutic management. Current treatment is therefore based on clinical presentations of the patient. This paper reports on the physiotherapy management strategies for women post-caesarean section delivery used at four public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal during 2011-2012. The study used a quantitative, cross-sectional, descriptive design. The sample consisted of 31 physiotherapists who completed an anonymous self-administered questionnaire, of whom eight had not treated post-caesarean section delivery women at all in the one year period. The results showed mobilization (100%), breathing exercises (94%) and education (94%) were common choices, with 68% selecting pelvic floor exercises as part of their management strategy. The study concluded that the current physiotherapy management strategy for women post-caesarean section delivery is based mainly on the doctors’ referral. Due to their limited knowledge about physiotherapy treatment, doctors overlook other complication(s) and potential complication(s) that could benefit from treatment post-delivery. The study showed that there is a need to improve the role and influence of physiotherapists in the multidisciplinary team.