Welcome to another episode of The Words Matter Podcast.
So we are up to the 8th episode of the Clinical Reasoning Series and on today I’m speaking with Dr Nathalia Costa about clinical uncertainty.
Nathalia is a Brazilian physiotherapist who completed PhD studies in Australia used mixed-methods to investigate the nature of low back pain flares (see here). This PhD work was won the Lumbar Spine Research Prize awarded by the Society for Study of the Lumbar Spine in 2021 (see Nathalia's other research here).
Nathalia is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Universities of Queensland (UQ) and Sydney (USyd) investigating how both clinicians and people with low back pain navigate uncertainty during clinical encounters. And as such we speak about her work investigating uncertainty and talk around a paper, she and her colleagues published this year titled 'Uncertainty in low back pain care – insights from an ethnographic study', published in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation (see paper here and a previous podcast on ethnography here with Dr Fiona Webster here).
So on this episode we speak about:
So this was another brilliant conversation. Uncertainty, whether we like it or not surrounds and often defines our clinical work and is the omnipresent elephant in the clinical room and lives of our patients. Nathalia’s work provides some crucial insights into the slippery and uncomfortable nature of clinical uncertainty which can allow us to reflect on how it make us and our patients feel and consider how we react in the face of it.
As always, I have linked Nathalia's paper in the show notes, but please look out for a follow up paper which adopts a theory-driven post-qualitative approach to explore clinicians’ experiences navigating uncertainty when working with patients with low back pain (see podcasts here on post-qualitative research here and here)
Find Nathalia on Twitter @nathaliaccosta1
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Check out the Words Matter online course on effective language and communication when managing back pain.