A1 Journal article (refereed)
Stories of professional development in physiotherapy education (2022)

Kurunsaari, M., Tynjälä, P., & Piirainen, A. (2022). Stories of professional development in physiotherapy education. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 38(11), 1742-1755. https://doi.org/10.1080/09593985.2021.1888341

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsKurunsaari, Merja; Tynjälä, Päivi; Piirainen, Arja

Journal or seriesPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice



Publication year2022

Publication date23/02/2021


Issue number11

Pages range1742-1755

PublisherTaylor & Francis

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/74427


This study examines graduating physiotherapy students’ narratives related to their professional development. The data comprised interviews with 33 graduating physiotherapy students. The data were analyzed using the narrative analysis approach. As a result, five different story models were identified. The descriptive story models were named: 1) “Study path dominated by life changes”; 2) “Realizing the connection between physiotherapy theory and practice”; 3) “Self-regulated and practical-oriented learning path”; 4) “Becoming a critical developer”; and 5) “Multiprofessional working towards expertise”. In students’ stories, there appeared different turning points that illustrated especially meaningful episodes during the process of their professional development to be a physiotherapist. From a pedagogical point of view, two important features appeared: the importance of connecting theory and practice and the role of clinical supervisors.

Keywordsphysical therapistsstudies in an institution of higher educationprofessional developmentstudentspersonal narrativenarrative analysis

Free keywordsprofessional development; graduating student; physiotherapy student; narrative analysis; story models; turning points

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 00:26