Direct access: Therapist has primary responsibility or first contact.
Quicker and sicker patient/client base.
Signed prescription: Clients may obtain a signed prescription for physical/occupational therapy based on similar past complaints of musculoskeletal symptoms without direct physician contact.
Medical specialization: Medical specialists may fail to recognize underlying systemic disease.
Disease progression: Early signs and sxs are difficult to recognize, or sxs may not be present at the time of medical examination.
Patient/client disclosure: Client discloses information previously unknown or undisclosed to the physician.
Client does not report sxs or concerns to the physician because of forgetfullness, fear, or embarrassment.
Presence of one or more yellow (caution) or red (warning) flags.
diaphoresis (unexplained perspiration)
night sweats (can occur during the day)
Physical Therapist Role in Disease Prevention
Primary Prevention: stopping the process(es) that lead to the development of disease(s), illness(es), and other pathologic health conditions through education, risk-factor reduction, and general health promotion
Secondary Prevention: early detection of disease(s), illness(es), and other pathologic health conditions through regular screening: this does not prevent the condition but may decrease duration and/or severity of disease and thereby improve the outcome, including improved quality of life
Tertiary Prevention: providing ways to limit the degree of disability while improving function in patients/clients with chronic and/or irreversible diseases
Health Promotion and Wellness: providing education and support to help patients/clients make choices that will promote health or improved health. The goal of wellness is to give people greater awareness and control in making choices about their own health.
Elements of Patient/Client Management
Examination: history, systems review, and tests and measures
Evaluation: assessment or judgment of the data
Diagnosis: determined within the scope of practice
Prognosis: projected outcome
Intervention: coordination, communication, and documentation of an appropriate treatment plan for the diagnosis based on the previous four elements