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Finding Identity through Client Relationship Experience of Physical Therapists in Elderly Care Facilities
J Korean Soc Phys Med 2019;14(2):79-88
Published online May 31, 2019;
© 2019 Journal of The Korean Society of Physical Medicine.

Hong Dae Kim · Se Young Oh1†

Onnuri Happy House Nursing Home,
1Division of Welfare and Health Administration, Wonkwang University
Received December 22, 2018; Revised December 26, 2018; Accepted February 18, 2019.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Purpose: This study was conducted to understand the client relationship experience of the physical therapists working at elderly care facilities and to lay the foundation for finding the identity of physical therapists.
Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted on eight incumbent physical therapists who had experienced working in elderly care facilities for at least one year. Data collection was conducted between June and September 2017, and the interview took an hour to an hour and a half to complete. After an in-depth interview, it was arranged as a file and analyzed according to the four steps of the phenomenological research method of the Giorgi.
Results: Data were collected and analyzed; 19 categories, 6 themes and 5 domains were derived. Six themes were presented according to the 5 domains; the subject of relationships included ‘diversity elderly’; context of relationships included ‘the world of elderly nursing homes I did not know’; influence of relationships included ‘the physical therapist is heartbroken because of the tormenting elderly’; condition of relationships included ‘a reality that is tied to work’; aspects of relationships included ‘how to reestablishing relationships with the elderly’ and ‘recognized and identified as a physical therapist’.
Conclusion: This study shows that physical therapists working in elderly care facilities generally tend to fulfill their responsibilities and interact with clients; we found that identity of physical therapists was primarily defined by relationship experiences with patients.
Keywords : Client, Phenomenology, Physical therapist, Relationship experience

May 2019, 14 (2)
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