Health care professionals can prescribe physical therapy and physical therapy classes to help patients manage symptoms, but they can’t do it all.
That’s why a small group of researchers have developed a new program that lets people see and take part in a variety of physical therapy programs.
Health care professionals who work with patients can now prescribe physical therapists and physical therapists training courses to help them manage their symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and joint pain.
They can also administer physical therapy, and teach physical therapists how to perform basic exercises to treat a variety, but less common, conditions.
The program, called Physical Therapy in the 21st Century (P2I), will start in January and run through July 2021, with more classes scheduled each year.
The goal is to create a more accessible and personalized approach to physical therapy for people with chronic illness, including diabetes, chronic pain, obesity, and depression, said Amy Lefkowitz, the executive director of P2I.
“I want to encourage people to feel more empowered to seek help, learn more, and get the care they need when they need it,” Leflkowitz said.
“P2P will empower people with disabilities to have more meaningful connections with providers, providers who care about them and care about their lives.”
P2Is will be designed by a team of health care professionals that includes neurologists, psychiatrists, and physiotherapists, who will work alongside a physician assistant and occupational therapist, and will be able to help students learn how to take part and learn from physical therapists.
Lefiks plan is to launch the program in January 2022 and the next year will be devoted to expanding it.
P2i is an initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a nonprofit research organization that helps advance scientific knowledge and develop public policy.
It is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Sarah C. Kline, a psychologist who is also the associate director of the clinical education program at University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, said she was impressed with the research behind the program.
“We have a long way to go before we can truly change the way people think about physical therapy,” she said.
Kline said she hoped to incorporate the new program into the University of California’s physical therapy program and eventually into the Department of Neurology at the University at Albany.