Category: nursing

New APTA-Supported CPG Looks at Best Ways to Improve Walking Speed, Distance for Individuals After Stroke, Brain Injury, and Incomplete SCI

The message
A new clinical practice guideline (CPG) supported by APTA and developed by the APTA Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy concludes that when it comes to working with individuals who experienced an acute-onset central nervous system (CNS) injury 6 months ago or more, aerobic walking training and virtual reality (VR) treadmill training are the interventions most strongly tied to improvements in walking distance and speed. Other interventions such as strength training, circuit training, and cycling training also may be considered, authors write, but providers should avoid robotic-assisted walking training, body-weight supported treadmill training, and sitting/standing balance that doesn’t employ augmented visual inputs.

The study
The final recommendations in the CPG are the result of an extensive process that began with a scan of nearly 4,000 research abstracts and subsequent full-text review of 234 articles, further narrowed to 111 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), all focused on interventions related to CNS injuries, with outcome data that included measures of walking distance and speed. CPG panelists evaluated the data and developed recommendations, which were informed by data on patient preferences and submitted for expert and stakeholder review.

Full article at APTA

Time to Act: Surprise Coding Complication Ignores Realities of PT Practice and Must be Changed

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled an unwelcome New Year’s Day surprise for outpatient therapy providers, including private practitioners and facility-based settings, when it announced it will no longer allow two frequently used therapy billing codes to be used in combination with evaluation codes. It’s a decision that flies in the face of standard PT practice and effective patient care—and CMS and the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) contractor need to hear that perspective loud and clear, from as many stakeholders as possible as soon as possible.

At issue are current procedural terminology (CPT) codes 97530 (therapeutic activities) and 97150 (therapeutic procedures, group, 2 or more individuals) which, until January 1, were allowed to be billed on the same day as physical therapy or occupational therapy evaluation. Under new CMS NCCI edits, however, that’s no longer allowed. And in a further complication, the latest NCCI edits also require use of the 59 modifier—the modifier that’s used to indicate that a code represents a service that is separate and distinct from another service to which it is paired—whenever code 97140 (manual therapy) is billed with an evaluation.

Full article at APTA

Yoga and physical therapy as treatment for chronic lower back pain also improves sleep

Yoga and physical therapy (PT) are effective approaches to treating co-occurring sleep disturbance and back pain while reducing the need for medication, according to a new study from Boston Medical Center (BMC). Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the research showed significant improvements in sleep quality lasting 52 weeks after 12 weeks of yoga classes or 1-on-1 PT, which suggests a long-term benefit of these non-pharmacologic approaches. In addition, participants with early improvements in pain after 6 weeks of treatment were three and a half times more likely to have improvements in sleep after the full, 12-week treatment, highlighting that pain and sleep are closely related.

Sleep disturbance and insomnia are common among people with chronic low back pain (cLBP). Previous research showed that 59% of people with cLBP experience poor sleep quality and 53% are diagnosed with insomnia disorder. Medication for both sleep and back pain can have serious side effects, and risk of opioid-related overdose and death increases with use of sleep medications.

Full article at Medical Xpress

Physician Owned? Corporate? Independent? Panel Event to Focus on PT Models of Practice

Few would argue that health care in the United States has experienced significant change over the past few years—but do those changes require a new look at practice models for physical therapists (PTs)? That’s the question at the heart of an event cosponsored by APTA and Arcadia University set for the evening of January 9, 2020, 6:00 pm–9:00 pm ET.

The panel presentation, Practice Revolution: Physician Owned, Corporate, Health Care Systems, Independent, and More, will include presentations from APTA Chief Executive Officer Justin Moore, PT, DPT, and Bill Boissonault, PT, DPT, DHSc, APTA executive vice president of professional affairs, as well as APTA members Jennifer Gamboa, PT, DPTPatrick Graham, PT, MBA; and Michael Horsfield, PT, MBA. The PT panelists will be joined by neurosurgeon Ryan Grant, MD, and Louis Levitt, MD, MEd, vice president of The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics. Past APTA President Paul Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, will serve as panel moderator.

Full story at APTA

Athletes are better at tuning out background brain noise

People who play sports appear to have an enhanced ability to process sounds from their environment, according to new research.

Scientists at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, measured brain activity relating to sound processing in athletes and nonathletes.

They found that due to a stronger ability to lessen the background electrical noise in their brains, the athletes were better at processing signals from external sounds.

The team reports the findings in a recent paper in the journal Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach.

Full story at Medical News Today

6 Non-Clinical Skills of the School-Based Physical Therapist

As a school-based physical therapist, I wear many hats. Movement expert, advocate, safety police, that guy who runs around playing tag on the playground. In addition to these, I have the opportunity to build many non-clinical skills in my role serving students. Here are six non-clinical skills used by school-based physical therapists, and how to apply them outside of your clinical role!

Six non-clinical skills used by the school-based physical therapist

1) Collaboration with key stakeholders

This is a big one.

The success of my students in accessing their education depends in large part on my ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with a wide-ranging team of individuals.

Full article at The Non-Clinical PT

Teen Can Return to School After Undergoing Free Surgery to Correct Her Extreme Bow-Leggedness

These incredible before and after photos show the transformation of a teenager who was given free surgery to correct her extremely bowed legs.

14-year-old Valerie—who surgeons declined to fully name—developed bowed legs at the age of four and had such low self-confidence, she convinced her parents to pull her out of school.

She joined her uncle’s tailoring shop as an apprentice and worked hard, despite the fact that her harshly-angled legs arched outwards from her hips, making it difficult for her to walk.

The talented seamstress was busy sewing when a customer told her that a hospital boat operated by the charity Mercy Ships had docked near her West African home in Cotonou, Benin.

Full story at Good News Network

IncludeHealth and Cincinnati Children’s join hands to commercialize movement correction technology

IncludeHealth, an internationally recognized provider of inclusive digital health and performance technologies, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati Children’s), a top-ranked pediatric medical center and research institution, announced today an exclusive licensing agreement to allow IncludeHealth to commercialize a research based digital health technology originally developed at Cincinnati Children’s. The technology is called aNMT (pronounced “animate” and an abbreviation of Augmented Neuromuscular Training), and it offers camera-based, real-time movement analysis coupled with corrective feedback to optimize biomechanics (physical movements) for injury prevention and performance enhancement. The aNMT technology will integrate with IncludeHealth’s cloud platform and data analytics solution to provide clinically validated treatment paths for physical therapy patients, including children and adults recovering from musculoskeletal diseases, disorders or injuries; seniors with mobility issues or other musculoskeletal pain; and athletes of all ages and physical ability.

An estimated 126.6 million Americans (one in two adults) are affected by a musculoskeletal condition. Comparable to the total percentage of Americans living with a chronic lung or heart condition, musculoskeletal care costs an estimated $213 billion in annual treatment, care and lost wages, according to the United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI).

Full story at News-Medical

Telemedicine may be as effective as in-person visit for people with many neurologic disorders

For people with many neurologic disorders, seeing the neurologist by video may be as effective as an in-person visit, according to a review of the evidence conducted by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). The evidence review examined all available studies on use of telemedicine for several neurologic conditions – stroke being one of the conditions that is well-validated and highly utilizes telemedicine – and is published in the December 4, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the AAN. The results indicate that a diagnosis from a neurologist by video for certain neurologic conditions is likely to be as accurate as an in-person visit.

Telemedicine is the use of video conferencing or other technology for doctor visits from another location. The patient could be at home or at a local doctor’s office.

Full story at News-Medical

One in three U.S. high schools have no athletic trainers

One in every three high schools in the U.S. has no access to an athletic trainer, according to a large study.

Even among the schools with some access, in roughly half the trainer is only part-time, the researchers report in the Journal of Athletic Training.

“Every athlete who participates in sport at the high school level deserves the best when it comes to emergency best practices and athletic injuries,” said lead author Robert Huggins of the University of Connecticut, in Storrs.

Athletic trainers provide emergency and non-emergency care for athletes and are the main healthcare professionals trained in injury prevention for physical activity. At the high school level, they coordinate care and follow-up, conduct rehabilitation and return players to the game. They help with concussions, orthopedic injuries, eating disorders, heat illnesses, heart issues, weight management, diabetic episodes and substance abuse concerns.

Full story at Reuters