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Title: Professional sexual boundariesd-Asian and Western perception : an observational study
Authors: Cooper, I
Jones, A
Jenkins, S
Keywords: Hong Kong
Physiotherapiste-patient relationship
Professional ethics
Sexual boundaries
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Hong Kong physiotherapy journal, 2010, v. 28, no. 1, p. 2-10 How to cite?
Journal: Hong Kong physiotherapy journal 
Abstract: Question: Do Hong Kong (HK) physiotherapists recognise professional sexual boundaries, and are there differences (1) between genders and (2) when compared with physiotherapists in Western Australia (WA)? Design: Observational study using a postal questionnaire. Participants: One thousand eight hundred and fifteen physiotherapists registered with the HK Physiotherapists' Registration Board. Outcome Measures: Respondents were asked to state (1) their opinions about the actions of a physiotherapist in six vignettes highlighting professional sexual boundaries; (2) the incidence of sexual attraction and dating of their patients; and (3) their course(s) of action when confronted by an allegation of sexual misconduct against a colleague. Results: Two hundred and fifty-five responses were received (16% response rate). HK physiotherapists were similar to their peers in WA in finding four of the six vignettes unacceptable. Overall, HK physiotherapists were significantly (p < 0.01) less conservative than their WA peers. Eighty percent of respondents thought it acceptable for a physiotherapist working for a sports team to date a player and 51% thought it acceptable to date a work colleague to whom they had provided professional ergonomics advice. Although the incidence of sexual attraction was less than that reported from WA, HK physiotherapists were more likely to have dated a current or ex-patient and especially if they worked in the private sector (p < 0.01). Seventy percent of respondents stated that they would advise a patient to make a complaint against their colleague to the appropriate authority. Less than 20% stated that they would complaindirectly to the HK Physiotherapists' Registration Board or Physiotherapy Association (16% and 7%, respectively). Conclusion: Similarities and differences exist between HK and WA physiotherapists with regard to professional sexual boundaries. Education on this topic is urged within the HK physiotherapy population.
ISSN: 1013-7025
EISSN: 1876-441X
DOI: 10.1016/j.hkpj.2010.11.003
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