Major Project Research

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2011 Spring Grads
Lori Marsh

Purpose: To develop best practice recommendations for physiotherapy treatment of patients over the age of 65 who require physical isolation while admitted to acute care.

Methods: Online survey of teaching hospitals within Ontario, point prevalence survey and two focus groups of physiotherapists working in acute care at The Ottawa Hospital.

Findings: No physiotherapy best practice recommendations were identified within the teaching hospitals in Ontario. At The Ottawa Hospital, physiotherapists experienced moral distress due to restrictions placed on their treatment options for older patients due to isolation. Three best practice recommendations were developed:

  1. treatment should be functional and aim to prevent loss of function, 
  2. treatment should be frequent (3-4 periods of activity/day) and
  3. treatment should be timely (started early).

Conclusion: Although the recommendations were developed for physiotherapists at The Ottawa Hospital, to prevent poor outcomes for this population the entire interprofessional team must be involved.


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