J. Gotlib1, D. Białoszewski1, B. Paz Lourido2, J. Sierdziński1

1Medical University of Warsaw (POLAND)
2Universitat de les Illes Balears (SPAIN)
The completion of first-cycle (vocationally oriented) studies in physiotherapy enables the graduate to pursue their chosen career without needing to go into further study. Currently, in Poland and Spain as well as in many other EU countries, physiotherapy graduates often cannot find work because of generally high unemployment in their profession.

Aim of study
The aim of the study was to analyse and compare future plans regarding further study or seeking work as physiotherapists expressed by B.A. physiotherapy graduates from selected university-level schools in Poland and Spain.

Material and methods
A questionnaire of 52 questions was completed voluntarily and anonymously by a total of 114 third-year B.A. students, including 74 students (mean age: 22, 20/24 min./max, 66 women /8 men) of the Medical University of Warsaw, Poland (MUW) and 40 students (mean age: 22, 21/39 min./max, 30 women/10 men) representing Universitat de les Illes Balears, Mallorca, Spain (UIB). In view of the nature of the study group and research methodology, the study did not require approval from the Ethical Review Board at the Medical University of Warsaw.

Statistical design
Statistical analysis of study data was carried out with Statistica 9.0 software package (Statsoft, Warsaw, Poland). The Mann-Whitney U test was used on account of the nature of study data and the number of comparative groups (p<0.05).

A total of 24 (60%) UIB and 45 (60%) MUW students declared familiarity with employment opportunities as physiotherapists following graduation (p=NS). A total of 23 (57%) UIB and 18 (24%) MUW students declared that they were well prepared to seek employment as physiotherapists (p<0.05). A total of 23 (57%) UIB and 22 (30%) MUW students wished to enter M.A. programmes following completion of B.A. studies and simultaneously work as physiotherapists (p<0.05). Most students, i.e. 26 (65%) UIB and 49 (66%) MUW students, declared that it was easy to find work as physiotherapists in other EU countries (p=NS), while 17 (42%) UIB and 11 (14%) MUW students stated that it was easy to find work as physiotherapists in their own country (p<0.05)

1. Most physiotherapy students choose their future career under the impression that it is easier to find work in other EU countries, which may further aggravate existing unemployment in this profession in the EU.
2. The results of this pilot study need to be confirmed by studying larger student populations.