Physical therapists assert that they are ‘professionals’. A particularly unique characteristic of being a professional is trustworthiness – the expectation is that professionals strive to do good, have the patient’s best interests at heart and have high ethical standards. A tangible demonstration of a profession’s interests in the welfare of its patients is its preparedness to act on the basis of objective evidence about good practice, regardless of how unpalatable the evidence might be. A prerequisite is that the profession must be aware of what the evidence says. If we don’t know whether the evidence indicates that the interventions we offer are effective, or might cause harm, or just make no difference, our claim to be ‘professionals’ is questionable.
The profession of physiotherapy has changed enormously in the last 50 years. There has been a transition from doing what doctors told physiotherapists to do, which was usually accepted quite uncritically to using experience and intuition on which to base decisions, to the current position where evidence-based practice has been promoted as a model for physiotherapy practice. With autonomy comes responsibility for ensuring that patients are given accurate diagnoses and prognoses, and are well-informed about benefits, harms and risks of intervention.
The presentation will provide an overview of the effects of the most common physiotherapy interventions for rheumatic diseases.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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