Exploring the collaborative care of patients with pelvic fractures in Tshwane, South Africa

Ntombenkosi A. Sobantu*, Muziwakhe D. Tshabalala, Verusia Chetty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pelvic fractures are complex injuries that lead to long-term disabilities and poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Even though pelvic fractures are known to be challenging to manage, there is limited information on guidelines and protocols to ensure that patients receive comprehensive and collaborative healthcare. Methods: A qualitative descriptive phenomenological approach was utilised to explore current practices and innovations of healthcare professionals (HPs) in Tshwane academic hospitals in the collaborative management and rehabilitation of patients with pelvic fractures, using semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data. Results: Six overarching themes were identified from the interviews with HPs: The biopsychosocial lens of the patient, limitations in approaches to care, contextual impediments to care, the team challenge; the biopsychosocial aspects of care and forging forward to improve care. Conclusion: A multidisciplinary approach is encouraged for the comprehensive management of pelvic fractures. However, a poor understanding of roles and poor referral structures challenge this approach. Further barriers to caring include staff shortages and limited resources. Healthcare professionals recommended interprofessional education and collaborative practice, student training and using standardised outcome measurement tools to improve care for patients with pelvic fractures. Contribution: This study lays a foundation to initiate conversations about the development of an interprofessional model of care for patients with pelvic fractures. Findings might inform health policies on the management of pelvic fractures. Healthcare professionals might apply strategies that enhance the quality of healthcare provided. Patients with pelvic fractures might receive quality interprofessional healthcare that promotes quality of life, post pelvic fractures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera5705
JournalSouth African Family Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • South Africa
  • health-related quality of life
  • healthcare
  • interprofessional collaboration
  • pelvic fractures
  • rehabilitation


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