The physical therapist-patient relationship. Does physical therapists' occupational stress affect patients' quality of life?

Annalisa Alesii, Carlo Damiani, Daniela Pernice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Our pilot study investigated the patient-physical therapist relationship. Physical therapists see and are actively involved in the consequences of and the improvements in patients' health status. This close involvement, together with their own expectations, renders physical therapists vulnerable to different kinds of stress. The aim of this study was to investigate whether physical therapists' occupational stress is related to patients' perceived quality of life. Eight patient-physical therapist pairs were enrolled. The following measures were administered to the participants: Occupational Stress Indicator (OSI); World Health Organization Ouality of Life-Brief (WHOQoL-Brief); Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Our study demonstrated the existence of different kinds of relationship between physical therapists' occupational stress (measured by OSI) and patients' perceived quality of life (measured by WHOQoL-Brief). It was found that patients' quality of life and therefore outcome are affected by the possible presence of physical therapists' occupational stress. Our study identified traits (both personal and professional) in physical therapists that positively affect patients' perceived quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-126
Number of pages6
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005



  • Occupational stress
  • Patient-physical therapist relationship
  • Patients' quality of life
  • Physical therapists' occupational stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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