Patients’ appraisals of public and private healthcare: A qualitative study of physiotherapy and osteopathy.


Patients have previously reported differences in their experiences of treatments received in the public and private sectors; it remains unclear whether such perceived differences are particular to or shared across different interventions. This study explored whether patients’ appraisals of public and private treatments are similar when appraising a complementary therapy (osteopathy) compared to a mainstream therapy (physiotherapy). Thirty-five qualitative interviews were analysed thematically. Patients’ appraisals varied by health-care sector and therapy type: physiotherapy was appraised more negatively in the National Health Service than the private sector but osteopathy was appraised similarly within both health-care sectors. Potential reasons for this are discussed.



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