Category: Autism

New CPG Requirements Will ‘Raise the Bar’ at Federal Clearinghouse

The federal government’s official clearinghouse for practice guidelines will adopt more stringent standards for acceptance in the coming months. The new standards, adopted from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), include requirements for content, authorship, methodology, format, accessibility, and currency.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) will implement the new standards beginning June 1. The changes result from a 2008 directive from the federal government for IOM to identify best practice for developing clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). A full report, titled Clinical Practice Guidelines we can trust is available at the IOM website.

Full story of the new CPG requirements at APTA

Autism Rates Show a 30% Rise in 2 Years

In a report that could inform how physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) approach their work with children, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cited a nearly 30% rise in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) rates in the US since 2008. Current CDC estimates raise the prevalence of ASD from 1 in 88 children to 1 in 68 children, with a growing number of children diagnosed with ASD who have average or above-average intellect.

The CDC findings were widely reported in major media outlets including the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Associated Press, each highlighting different features of the report, which pointed out variations in prevalence among ethnicities, sex, and geographic location.

Full story of Autism rates rising at APTA

HIPAA Violation Leads To $4.1 Million Judgment Based On State Law

A protected health information (PHI) breach that violated HIPAA may now result in the same facility paying out an additional $4.1 million for violations of state privacy laws.

According to a recent article in Healthcare IT News, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has approved the class action settlement that asserts Stanford Hospital and Clinics violated California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act. The settlement stems from a 2010 breach that involved the posting the PHI of nearly 20,000 patients to a student website. The information remained on the public website for almost 1 year, and contained patient names and diagnoses.

Full story of HIPAA and state law at APTA

Running Injuries: Finding the Root Cause

APTA recently spoke with Katie McDonald Netiz, aRunner’s World editor, and James Koo, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, an APTA member and physical therapist at RunSmart, a running clinic at New York University, for a Move Forward Radio episode called “Waking Sleeping Glutes in Runners.” Neitz, a longtime recreational runner, discusses her visit to RunSmart and how Koo and a team of therapists helped her identify the source of her hamstring pain—a problem that had been nagging her for 6 years.

After a series of tests and evaluations to determine her strengths and weaknesses, Netiz was diagnosed with inactive gluteal muscles.

“I could not squeeze my glutes, which sounds ridiculous that a runner wouldn’t be able to do that, but I couldn’t,” said Netiz. “So I credit my physical therapist at the clinic with giving me that eye-opening moment that really made me realize where my weakness was, and how much work I had to do to get better.”

Full story of running injuries at ATPA

Grassroots Support Needed for Senate Bill to End SGR, Therapy Cap

Though a House-approved bill to end the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) is almost certain to be a nonstarter in the Senate, a Senate bill that would end both the SGR and the therapy cap is now gaining momentum and is the focus of renewed grassroots advocacy efforts from APTA and other organizations. Physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), physical therapy students, and supporters are being urged to contact legislators to push for passage.

On March 14, the House voted 238-181 to approve a bill that would pay for the cost of SGR repeal by delaying enforcement of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The political implications of the bill are widely viewed as unacceptable to the Democratic-controlled Senate, which so far has refused to take up the bill. The White House has threatened a veto of the bill if it should pass both houses.

Full story of ending the therapy cap at APTA

‘Polio-Like Illness’ in California Children Still a Mystery

The “polio-like illness” found in 5 California children “appears to be very, very rare,” according to the author of a study on these cases, but could point to an “emerging” infectious syndrome. In a recent press release the study’s authors stated that 20–25 similar cases are now being investigated.

The illnesses involve paralysis of 1 or more limbs with rapid onset and a peak in severity at about 2 days. Of the 5 children affected, 3 had respiratory illnesses before the polio-like symptoms began. All 5 had been vaccinated against the polio virus.

Full story of polio like illness at APTA

Flex CEUs: New Courses for February

Knee Pain – Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation

$27.00 [3.00 CE Hours]
This course reviews rehabilitation guidelines following Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) on the tibiofemoral joint. This surgical technique, which has become an established technique for repair of full-thickness chondral defects, is discussed as well as the factors proposed to influence patient outcomes. Components of pre-operative patient education and conditioning are presented as well as the 7 stages of post-operative rehabilitation.

Cervical Radiculopathy – Exercise and Traction as Treatment

$18.00 [2.00 CE Hours]
This course reviews a clinical study that evaluates the effectiveness of cervical traction in addition to exercise for patients with cervical radiculopathy. This common diagnosis is based clinically on the presence of neck pain extending into the arm accompanied by signs of nerve root compression during physical examination. Patients were randomized to 4 weeks of treatments with exercise, exercise with mechanical traction, or exercise with over-door traction. A discussion of the results indicate which treatments demonstrated lower disability and pain.

For these new courses and many more, visit Flex CEUs

Team USA PT Discusses Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries With Move Forward Radio

Listeners to APTA’s Move Forward Radio can get a firsthand account of how Team USA prepares to go for gold on the slopes of Sochi, Russia, at the Olympic Winter Games—all from a physical therapist’s perspective.

In an episode that aired last week, Amber Donaldson, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS, describes the training and treatment regimens for Olympic and Paralympic athletes at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, before providing injury prevention tips for recreational skiers and snowboarders. In conjunction with the segment, published tips for “Preventing Skiing-Relating Injuries,” and APTA issued a press release about these resources.

Full story on the discussion at APTA

Sensory Therapy Might Work for Kids With Autism

Children with autism can benefit from a type of therapy that helps them become more comfortable with the sounds, sights and sensations of their daily surroundings, a small new study suggests.

The therapy is called sensory integration. It uses play to help these kids feel more at ease with everything from water hitting the skin in the shower to the sounds of household appliances.

For children with autism, those types of stimulation can be overwhelming, limiting them from going out in the world or even mastering basic tasks like eating and getting dressed.

“If you ask parents of children with autism what they want for their kids, they’ll say they want them to be happy, to have friends, to be able to participate in everyday activities,” said study author Roseann Schaaf.

Sensory integration is aimed at helping families move toward those goals, said Schaaf, an occupational therapist at Thomas Jefferson University’s School of Health Professions, in Philadelphia.

It is not a new therapy, but it is somewhat controversial — partly because until now it has not been rigorously studied, according to Schaaf.

Full story of sensory therapy for autism at US News Health