Defining the Role of Sport and Exercise Physicians: The Experience of Different Referrer Types in New Zealand

aut.relation.journalBMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine
dc.contributor.authorAubrey, Brendon
dc.contributor.authorFulcher, Mark L
dc.contributor.authorReid, Duncan
dc.description.abstractThe aim of this study was to analyse the reasons health professionals refer to sport and exercise physicians (SEPs) and to define what service gap the specialty fills. This was a qualitative study design using thematic analysis. Online focus group interviews consisting of 4–6 participants in each group were conducted separately with physiotherapists, emergency clinicians, general practitioners and orthopaedic surgeons practising in New Zealand. Thematic analysis of the focus group interviews was then used for the identification of common themes around referral tendencies towards SEPs. Three primary themes were identified relating to referrals towards SEPs: (1) role utilisation of SEPs, (2) collaboration and (3) accessibility. SEPs are viewed as experts in the assessment, investigation and diagnosis of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, including some which might traditionally be viewed as surgical diagnoses. Some confusion or lack of understanding exists regarding the range of conditions that SEPs can treat and manage, with some referrers assuming that SEPs only treat sport-related injuries. SEPs are often used alongside other specialist practitioners in the management of patients with MSK conditions. This requires collaboration with other health professionals who also treat MSK conditions to ensure the best patient outcome. A common feeling towards SEPs is they are easily accessible compared with other potential health providers who may also treat MSK conditions such as orthopaedic surgeons and general practitioners, and that SEPs provide sound management plans and access to investigations such as MRI, in a timely fashion.
dc.identifier.citationBMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, ISSN: 2055-7647 (Online), BMJ, 10(2), e001968-e001968. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2024-001968
dc.rights© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2024. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:
dc.subject1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences
dc.subject3202 Clinical sciences
dc.subject4207 Sports science and exercise
dc.titleDefining the Role of Sport and Exercise Physicians: The Experience of Different Referrer Types in New Zealand
dc.typeJournal Article
Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
Defining the role of sport and exercise physicians.pdf
310.06 KB
Adobe Portable Document Format
Journal article