Sweden: a profile of the profession

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The data has been provided by Swedish Association of Physiotherapists and to the extent possible are a true reflection of the situation in the country, however not all figures are authoritative and should be interpreted accordingly. For definitions and metadata please refer to the data guide. For questions or feedback please contact info@wcpt.org

Reference year: 2017

 View the 2017 global country profile maps

Summary report for Sweden
Summary report
Professional title
English title:
Physiotherapist   (Protected by law)
National language titles:
  • Fysioterapeut   (Protected by law)
  • Sjukgymnast  (Protected by law)
Membership
Number of physical therapist members:
11,043    (Excluding assistants, students, retired and other)
Female%
Not available
 
Entry level student organisation:
Yes, represented by the WCPT member organisation
Practising physical therapists
Number of practising physical therapists:
17,906    (Authoritative*)
Female%:
77%
 
Support personnel part of workforce:
Yes
Note: *this data has come from a registration authority, a government source or statistical agency.
Publications
Journals:
None
Events
Special interest groups recognised by Sweden
Recognised special interest groups:
  • Animal practice
  • Cardiorespiratory physical therapy
  • Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Orthopaedics/manual therapy
  • Occupational health and ergonomics
  • Older people
  • Oncology/palliative care
  • Pain (includes pain management, pain research)
  • Paediatrics
  • Private practitioners
  • Sports physical therapy
  • Womens health
Collaborative arrangements (twinning)
The Nordic Physiotherapy organisations (Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway)
Annual conference with the aim of enhancing collaboration
 
Common statement regarding physiotherapists in school health care Common booth at the WCPT congress in South Africa
 
Physical therapist professional entry level education
Number of programmes:
8
Starting education level (minimum):
Upper secondary
Finishing education level (minimum):
Bachelors degree
Equivalent fulltime years:
3
 
Other entry level programmes
No
Note: qualification levels are consistent with ISCED 1997 levels
Post professional degree programmes
Post professional degree programmes:
Masters degree,  Research doctorate
Physical therapist specialisation recognised by Sweden
Recognised specialisation:
  • Animal practice
  • Cardiorespiratory physical therapy
  • Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Orthopaedics/manual therapy
  • Occupational health and ergonomics
  • Older people
  • Oncology/palliative care
  • Pain (includes pain management, pain research)
  • Paediatrics
  • Sports physical therapy
  • Physiotherapy in Primary Care Intensive care Obstetrics, Uro - Gynaecology Rheumatology
Practice
Scope of practice defined by:
Ministry of Health or another government department
Standards of practice:
Yes, the standards of the regulatory/licensing/registration authority
Code of conduct:
Yes, WCPT member organisation specific code of conduct
 
Education for autonomous practice:
Yes
Limitations:
No
 
Legislation to prevent private practice:
No
 
Physical Therapists are permitted to:
  • Act as first contact/autonomous practitioners
  • Assess patients/clients
  • Make a diagnosis
  • Treat (interventions, advice and evaluation of outcome)
  • Refer to other specialists/services
  • Offer preventative advice/services
 
Direct access* permitted:
Yes
Can people self refer to physical therapists in private practice:
Yes
Will this be reimbursed:
In part
 
Can people self refer to physical therapists in the public system:
Yes
Limitations:
Yes - Some publically funded institutions do not allow self - referral.
* Direct access - a person can refer themselves to a physical therapist without referral from another health professional
Regulation
Registration required to practice:
Yes
CPD* required for re-registration:
No
CPD* required for membership:
No
 
The system of regulation in the country:
The National Board of health and Welfare issues licence on the assignment of the Swedish government. http://www.socialstyrelsen.se/english
* CPD - Continuing Professional Development

Other available reference years: 2013  2015