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Physiotherapy in Hospice Palliative Care

Physiotherapy is used to optimise functional status, physical independence and symptoms in patients with advanced cancer but the role of physiotherapy in hospice palliative care is not well defined. This study profiles PT utilization in a local inpatient hospice aiming to understand its role and optimize resource use.

This is a large, randomized, single-masked trial investigating whether an integrated, multidisciplinary team approach (which included a physiotherapist) can increase the number of falls in patients with Parkinson’s disease and improve quality of life. The authors found that the interdisciplinary team was more successful in improving falls and mobility than a general physiotherapy approach alone.

COVID-19 is a severe respiratory infection that has been shown to cause long-term sequalae including cognitive and lung function. This observational study explores the impact of COVID-19 on community physiotherapy services, by looking at pre-discharge and post-discharge physiotherapist use in comparison to patients who did not require respiratory support. Men and women who required respiratory support had significantly higher physiotherapy utilization than those without, although this increased utilization was not sustained after discharge. Moreover, the authors found no difference in COVID-19 compared to other RTI patients for the weekly share of patients visiting a physiotherapist during the 12 weeks prior to hospitalization and after discharge. This is a unique finding as previous studies have only looked at a single post-discharge period.


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