Objectives: Physiotherapy is, like all healthcare professions, relational and value-laden. Patient-centred care, evidence-based practice and value-based practices are concepts in which patient values lie at the heart of high-quality healthcare practices. Nevertheless, physiotherapists have limited awareness of what patient values are in the physiotherapy encounter. The purpose of this study is to explore these patient values. Methods: A qualitative study design using content analysis was used involving 17 adult participants with chronic or recurrent musculoskeletal pain. Data were collected during July 2015–July 2016 in three primary care physiotherapy facilities in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Two researchers analysed the interviews and derived relevant codes from the data. After an iterative process of comparing, analysing, conceptualizing, and discussing the data, a pre-existing analytic framework was refined in which distinct values were delineated. Results: Emerging patient values were encompassed in three themes, each consisting of two to four elements: (1) values about oneself (uniqueness and autonomy), (2) values regarding actions of the professional (technically skilled professional, conscientious professional, compassionate professional, responsive professional) and (3) values regarding interactions between patients and the professionals (partnership and empowerment). Conclusion: This study emphasizes the need for discussing patient values in the clinical encounter and helps physiotherapists to understand what deems to be important for patients with musculoskeletal pain in physiotherapy practice. The results of this study contribute to the existing body of knowledge of this important aspect of the quality of physiotherapy practice and may inspire clinicians and educators to actively implement patient values in clinical practice and the physiotherapy education.
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© 2020 The Authors. Physiotherapy Research International published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.