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European Journal of Physiotherapy;15(3)
Our goal was to explore the experience of third-year physiotherapy students who had been implementing the cognitive behavioural approach in a clinical practice. Nine students were given an 8-h course before their clinical practice. Individual semi-structured interviews were performed after the practice period. The information was analysed by means of qualitative content analysis. Two themes were identified: clinical communication and uncomfortable situations. The students were engaged in cooperating with the patients in goal setting; they stressed the importance of asking open-ended questions and following them up. They emphasized that this was a way of getting the patients to reflect on their own situations. The students explained pain by using verbal and bodily language, and encouraged the patients to become more aware of their own bodies. They were strongly engaged in motivating the patients and giving them control over their own suffering. The students seemed to be confident but caring, finding the balance between exaggerated involvement and emotional distance. Showing empathy is part of this approach.
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