University of Limerick
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A profile of Irish physiotherapy services for ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

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posted on 2011-10-19, 10:47 authored by Louise Larkin
Background: Physiotherapy and exercise are main components in the non-pharmacological management of AS (Zochling et al 2006). A minority of the Irish AS population participate in regular exercise (Fitzpatrick et al 2006). No study has explored the physiotherapy services provided to AS patients in the Republic of Ireland (ROI). Objectives: Identify physiotherapy services provided to Irish AS patients. Ascertain if strategies are utilised to improve motivation to exercise. Determine the correlation between current practice and the available evidence base for AS management. Methods: Online questionnaire-based survey distributed to the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists Rheumatology clinical interest group (CPR) (n=29), requesting information on assessment, treatment, education, motivation and self-management in AS management. Results: Response rate of 45% (13/29). 75% (9/12) currently treat AS patients. 88% (7/8) are aware of clinical guidelines for AS management. The most commonly utilised outcome measures are the Bath AS Scores – BASDAI (8/8, 100%), BASFI (7/8, 88%), BASMI and BAS-G (6/8, 75%). The most common treatment methods are home exercise programmes (8/8, 100%), group exercise and advice to undertake regular physical activity (7/8, 88%), and hydrotherapy (6/8, 75%). 100% (8/8) incorporate patient education and promotion of self-management in AS patient management. 75% (6/8) utilise strategies to improve motivation to exercise. Conclusions: This is the first study to profile Irish physiotherapy services for AS. Patient assessment and education correspond with current guidelines. Exercise programmes are supported by current literature. Other treatment methods are utilised despite limited evidence for efficacy. Strategies are implemented to promote motivation to exercise.






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