A SWOT Analysis of the Physiotherapy Profession in Kuwait

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Abstract

Background and Purpose.

Since the end of the Gulf War in 1991, Kuwait has become one of the wealthiest countries in the world and one that has a highly socialized health-care system. This rapid growth and socio-economic development appears to have had a negative impact on the health of its people. As such, the profession of physiotherapy may be in a unique position to address this issue by providing health behaviour interventions and promoting healthy lifestyles. The purpose of this study was to explore the current state of physiotherapy in Kuwait and provide recommendations for future development and growth.

Method.

Using a qualitative research approach, we conducted 17 key informant interviews (clinicians, administrators and other key stakeholders) in Kuwait. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats framework was then used to categorize the emerging themes and provide a basis for a strategic direction for the profession.

Results.

Informants reported that strengths included funding for services and motivation of professionals. Weaknesses included education and professional resources, marketing/advocacy, standardization and regulation of practice. Opportunities discussed were untapped demand for physiotherapy services, internal development and evolution of the physiotherapy association, along with professional collaboration. Threats addressed included low public awareness of physiotherapy, challenges with inter-professional practice/communication, and cultural perspectives of healthy lifestyles.

Conclusions.

Our research indicates that many unique opportunities exist for physiotherapists in Kuwait. Further development and evolution of Kuwait's physiotherapy professional association could facilitate efforts to advocate for the profession, initiate standards of practice and provide enhanced opportunities for professional collaboration. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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