‘Making every contact count’ with patients with musculoskeletal conditions: a qualitative exploration of acceptability to physiotherapists

Amelia Parchment, Wendy Lawrence, Em Rahman, Nick Townsend, Elaine Wainwright, David Wainwright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To qualitatively explore physiotherapists’ experiences and acceptability of implementing ‘Making Every Contact Count Healthy Conversation Skills’ (MECC HCS) in routine practice with patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. Methods: This article reports the second phase of a mixed method, sequential explanatory study. Physiotherapists trained in and delivering MECC HCS in their practice were invited to take part in semi-structured interviews. We hoped to develop a rich, in-depth understanding of their use and perceptions of the brief intervention and to contextualise findings from the first phase of the study. Qualitative data were analysed using Reflexive Thematic Analysis. Results: Physiotherapists valued MECC HCS as being integral to their practice, promoting a person-centred approach to supporting behaviour change and enhancing self-management in patients with MSK conditions and pain. It was believed that this brief intervention could reduce workload pressure for physiotherapists and have significant wider benefits for health services. Time limitations associated with appointments did, however, pose as a challenge to MECC HCS delivery, and it was felt that more organisational-level support was needed to sustain it. Conclusions: These findings support our quantitative data, collected in the first phase of this study. MECC HCS is a highly acceptable brief intervention that can be delivered in physiotherapy care to support behaviour change in patients with MSK conditions. Future roll-out may be optimised within organisations by providing regular refresher training and adopting a MECC champion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1125
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2023


  • Behaviour change
  • Healthy conversation skills
  • Making every contact count
  • Physiotherapy care
  • Prevention
  • Self-management


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