Category: Health

After Heart Attack, Home Care Can Prevent a Return to Hospital

Receiving home health care reduces heart attack survivors’ risk of hospital readmission after discharge, a new study finds.

In the United States, only a small percentage of heart attack survivors receive home care such as nursing and physical therapy, according to study authors.

The findings were presented recently at a virtual American Heart Association meeting. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“Little is known regarding the impact of home health care on heart attack patients,” lead author Muhammad Adil Sheikh said. “Since patients who receive home health care tend to be older and sicker than others, and these characteristics themselves can lead to hospital readmission, we wanted to investigate the impact of home health care alone on readmission.”

Full article at US News

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Fearing the deadly combo of COVID-19 and cancer

Three Tuesdays each month, Katherine O’Brien straps on her face mask and journeys about half an hour by Metra rail to Northwestern University’s Lurie Cancer Center.

What were once packed train cars rolling into Chicago are now eerily empty, as those usually commuting to towering skyscrapers weather the pandemic from home. But for O’Brien, the excursion is mandatory. She’s one of millions of Americans battling cancer and depends on chemotherapy to treat the breast cancer that has spread to her bones and liver.

“I was nervous at first about having to go downtown for my treatment,” said O’Brien, who lives in a suburb, La Grange, and worries about contracting the coronavirus. “Family and friends have offered to drive me, but I want to minimize everyone’s exposure.”

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Study shows social robot offers new strategies for pain management

Could furry social robots help bolster moods and reduce pain when human to human contact isn’t an option, for example, during a pandemic?

According to a new study by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers published in Scientific Reports, a one-time, hour-long session with a plush, seal-like social robot reduced pain and oxytocin levels, and increased happiness.

The Japanese social robot, PARO, emits seal-like sounds and moves its head and flippers in response to being spoken to and touched.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Pandemic forced insurers to pay for in-home treatments. Will they disappear?

After seven days as an inpatient for complications related to heart problems, Glenn Shanoski was initially hesitant when doctors suggested in early April that he could cut his hospital stay short and recover at home — with high-tech 24-hour monitoring and daily visits from medical teams.

But Shanoski, a 52-year-old electrician in Salem, Massachusetts, decided to give it a try. He’d felt increasingly lonely in a hospital where the COVID pandemic meant no visitors. Also, Boston’s Tufts Medical Center wanted to free up beds for a possible surge of the coronavirus.

With a push from COVID-19, such “hospital-at-home” programs and other remote technologies — from online visits with doctors to virtual physical therapy to home oxygen monitoring — have been rapidly rolled out and, often, embraced.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

APTA, 52 Other Organizations to Congress: Stop Proposed Medicare Cuts to Avoid Post-COVID Disaster

It’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a profound effect on the nation’s health care system for years to come — a fact that only strengthens the argument that CMS’ proposed 2021 cuts to Medicare payment are monumentally ill-advised. That’s why we’ve joined with 52 other health care organizations and signed on to a letter to congressional leaders urging them to do something before it’s too late.

The letter, just a part of our extensive advocacy efforts to stop the proposed cuts, is directed at U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and urges Congress to “help fortify the health care delivery system and ensure long-term recovery” by suspending budget-neutrality requirements in the Social Security Act. Creating this kind of waiver would allow CMS to pursue its goal of increasing payment for evaluation and management codes, known as E/M codes, without being required to offset the cost through cuts to other areas.

Full article at APTA

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Neuroscientist discovers neuronal pulses in the human brain that activate after an injury

A neuroscientist’s neon pink arm cast led him and fellow researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis to discover previously undetected neuronal pulses in the human brain that activate after an immobilizing illness or injury.

The pulses appeared on MRI scans used to measure brain activity of the neuroscientist and, later, two additional adults whose arms were in casts.

The researchers compared those MRI images with scans of the scientists before and after their arms were put in casts.

The scans showed that the brain’s main circuits responsible for movement in specific areas of the body disconnected within 48 hours of a person wearing a cast that encumbered movement in such an area.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

HHS Discrimination Decision Runs Counter to Profession’s Values

The recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to abandon protections of individuals based on gender identity isn’t just controversial — it’s in direct opposition to the official position of APTA, and inconsistent with the physical therapy profession’s Code of Ethics. The association made its stand known to HHS before the rule changes were adopted, and will continue to press for person-centered care delivered regardless of gender. 

On June 13, HHS issued its final revision to a 2016 rule that reinforced nondiscrimination policies in the Affordable Care Act. The widely criticized change was aimed at weakening the ACA’s protections against discrimination based on “race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability” by eliminating a definition of “discrimination based on sex” that included gender identity.  

Full article at APTA

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Telemedicine helps patients with chronic pain receive support during lockdown

The covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated conditions for people living with chronic pain around the world and its long-term consequences are likely to be substantial, according to a new paper from researchers at the University of Bath’s Centre for Pain Research.

Their Topical Review, published recently in the journal PAIN, suggests that with many doctors specializing in pain being redeployed to focus on the immediate crisis, access to traditional services for patients suffering from acute conditions, such as nerve damage or arthritis, has been severely disrupted. Whilst this creates an immediate capacity challenge for healthcare professionals, it has also provided them an opportunity to move towards the greater use of ‘telemedicine’ with online consultation, say the researchers.

Chronic or persistent pain is characterized as pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment. Whereas most people get back to normal following an injury or operation, sometimes pain carries on for longer, or comes on without any history of an injury or operation. Common examples include lower back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and persistent and frequent headaches. Globally the burden of chronic pain is as high as 1 in 4 of adults. Data from young people are similar.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Majority of hospitalized patients with advanced cancer have functional impairment

New research from Mass General Cancer Center, published in the June 2020 issue of JNCCN–Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, found 40.2% of hospitalized patients with advanced, incurable cancer were functionally impaired at the time of admission, meaning they needed assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like walking, bathing, getting dressed, or other routine tasks. Patients with functional impairment also had higher rates of pain, depression, and anxiety, and were more likely to have longer hospital stays and worse survival.

“We are also actively exploring interventions to help patients transition from the inpatient to the outpatient setting, which we have identified as a key challenge for patients with functional impairment,” added senior researcher Ryan D. Nipp, MD, MPH, Mass General Cancer Center.

“Future work is needed to develop novel models of care to enhance access to palliative care services and address barriers that limit appropriate access to palliative care among patients with advanced cancer.”

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Everything you need to know about chronic shoulder pain

The shoulder is a complex joint made up of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Sustaining damage to any of these tissues can result in pain.

Persistent, or chronic, shoulder pain can interfere with a person’s day-to-day activities and quality of life.

This article describes the various causes of chronic shoulder pain and their associated treatment options. It also outlines some exercises that people can perform to help alleviate chronic shoulder pain.

The shoulder is a complex joint that allows for a wide range of movement. However, this complexity makes it susceptible to damage from overuse and injury.

Full article at Medical News Today

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