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Project: Development of Competencies In Physiotherapeutic Work With Refugees

A refugee is a person who leaves his or her home country due to life-threatening circumstances. As any person, refugees bring with them their culture, possible traumas, experiences, language, habits and often their family (European Parliament 2020, paragraph 2). Most of them do not speak our language, they may perceive pain differently and they are more likely to be accompanied by trauma due to the cruelty they have been exposed to and/or experienced before coming to their new homeland. To the health care system of European countries refugees represent a great burden. On a more personal level, a physiotherapist, who is a part of the said system, can feel frustrated and experience helplessness. In 2018, a group of experts from Norway, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Sweden and the Netherlands began developing the PREP (Physiotherapy and Refugee Educational project) project, co-financed by Erasmus +. The project was created due to the increased need for research and solutions that would help improve the competencies of physiotherapists in working with refugees. In the first stage, the authors explored which competencies are key to the successful rehabilitation of refugees, and in the second stage, they designed an online course for employed physiotherapists and master students of physiotherapy, which began its pilot period in January 2021. The course is divided into nine chapters. The main goal of the project is to design a research-supported course that allows physiotherapists to effectively rehabilitate refugees.

Nika Leskovšek


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