More and more research supports physical therapists for conservative care. Earlier this month an article in Self caught my attention.
I'm a curious kind of individual. I enjoy hearing about a patient's experience and perception of care received. This particular article in Self surprised me.
The first surprise hinged on the author mentioning that although she liked the interventions she received during her first session, she realized there wasn't much research supporting their benefit. She even mentioned placebo. I appreciated the refreshing honesty.
Now the next surprise was the number 1 factor to look for when choosing a physical therapist. Emily Abbate placed setting a realistic timeline for recovery as the first factor. She believes it is no longer acceptable to waste a patient's time. She recommends immediately having goals and a timeline to achieve the goals. She also mentions the importance of reassessing progress. From her perspective the reassessment should be helpful in determining if the interventions are having the desired effects of reaching goals.
This patient's insight supports FOTO's endeavor to engage patients. The main way FOTO meets Emily Abbate's number one factor is through it's patient friendly reports. These reports do exactly what Emily states is highly important: provide a generalized final result and a time frame for achieving the outcome. After completing an assessment, patients have an immediate opportunity to email the report to themselves. When patients complete reassessments, they can also track change in function. This helps them have the information they need to help drive conversations with their physical therapist.
This article happens to be the first article written by a patient that expresses the need to know outcomes. I see many articles in health care written by individuals in the health care industry focused on outcomes. It's refreshing to learn that at least one patient (and now maybe quite a few Self readers) are also interested in outcomes.
Until next time,