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Physiotherapy Competence in Product Development:
Work Approaches and Experiences from a Business Project

Scientific article in Fysioterapeuten 10/2012

Abstract

Mildrid Haugland, Høgskolelektor, Prodekan for utdanning, Avdeling for helse og sosialfag, Høgskolen i Bergen. E-post: mha@hib.no
Anne Brit Sørsdahl, Førsteamanuensis, Institutt for ergoterapi, fysioterapi og radiografi, Avdeling for helse- og sosialfag, Høgskolen i Bergen

Abstract

Background: Product development is an arena where few physiotherapists work. The questions we asked were: How can physiotherapists help with product development in a company? What experiences have physiotherapists after completing a product development project?

Main part: This article, based on specific work assignments with the development of a carrier for children, is an example of how physiotherapists, in collaboration with other professions, can work with product development. The tasks for the physiotherapists were product development, completion of a study for users and ergonomic analysis. The study was conducted through focus group interviews, keeping a log book and individual interviews.

Conclusion: This project showed that physiotherapists had important expertise in the process of developing products. Especially the expertise in muscular-skeletal disorders, ergonomics, motor development and project work were useful. Prerequisites for a product development project’s success is the involvement of management, flexibility in work tasks for the physiotherapists, user involvement and close cooperation with other involved professional groups.

Key words: physiotherapy competence, product development, cooperation.

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