Why Patients Don’t Always Cooperate With Physical Therapy

A study was conducted to determine why patients don’t always cooperate with physical therapy. The question was, whether the patient was non compliant because of the patient’s personal characteristics or illness or because of the patient’s attitude or to the physical therapist‘s behavior.

A questionaire was sent to 300 Dutch physical therapists. More than two thirds responded. The results showed that there were 3 main factors to noncompliance on the part of patients to physical therapy. First, and the strongest reason, was the perception of the barriers to the therapy and encountering those perceptions. Second, was the lack of feedback they received and third, the feeling of helplessness they felt. The results also showed that non compliance with physical therapy was because of the characteristics of the illness rather than the illness itself. If the patient received a negative prognosis it would produce more non compliance.

No differences were seen between male and female noncompliance but there was a difference between more or less educated patients with the less educated being more compliant than the highly educated.

The conclusion of the study seems to be that physical therapists should investigate more thoroughly problems that patients encounter with compliance and to seek the solutions to those problems before proceeding so that there can be mutual cooperation between patient and therapist.

A significant part of compliance can be the method(s) used in the physical treatment itself. If the treatment is enjoyable, shows results and is set at at the patient’s level he will tend to be more compliant than if it is just routine and there is no feedback on progress. Such is the goal of the TUTOR program. The TUTORS (HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR, 3DTUTOR) are physical therapy products that allow the patient to receive intensive exercises in a fun way–through the use of games created exclusively for the TUTORs. Physical therapists monitor the exercises, record and evaluate the results and then customize a program for that particular patient. This in turn gives the patient satisfaction as he sees steady improvement in rehabilitating his affected limb after a stroke or other medical incident that he experienced.

The TUTORs are fully certified with the FDA and CE and are currently in use in U.S. and European hospitals and clinics. The TUTORs are available for children as well as adults and also at home through the use of telerehabilitation. More information on these cost effective devices can be seen on WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL



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