What Is Physiotherapy Diagnosis? | Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy Diagnosis

Overview

Background and purpose

Diagnosis is a complex process that involves clinical decision-making along several dimensions, culminating in the assignment of a label or labels which inform(s) treatment decisions. Much of the attention given to physiotherapy diagnosis has been devoted to specific, disparate classification systems for low back pain. The purpose of the present study was to investigate how physiotherapists view and approach diagnosis in clinical practice in the USA.

Results

Eighty-four per cent of respondents report that patient care is their main area of ​​professional practice. Seventy-six per cent of the subjects used a diagnostic classification system other than medical diagnosis when treating patients with low back pain. The highest percentage (38%) used a general pathophysiological classification system, 32% used the McKenzie system and, in decreasing order of frequency, the classification based on treatment (9%).

Qualitative data suggest substantial variation in the way orthopaedic specialists view diagnosis inpatient organization, with several common themes emerging, physiotherapy diagnosis may incorporate but goes beyond medical diagnosis, physiotherapy diagnosis occurs at various levels or systems. Physical therapists tend to view diagnosis as process-oriented and its primary purpose is to guide treatment decisions.

Conclusions of physiotherapy diagnosis

As physical therapy evolves from a prescription-only profession to a medical profession, it must pay close attention to diagnosis, the basis of evidence-based practice. The search for consensus on the role of diagnosis inpatient management should become a priority, as well as the development of a more standard taxonomy with consistent terminology.

Background and objective

Diagnosis is a complex process that involves clinical decision‐making along several dimensions, culminating in the assignment of a label or labels which inform(s) treatment decisions. Much of the attention given to physiotherapy diagnosis has been devoted to specific, disparate classification systems for low back pain. The purpose of the present study was to investigate how physiotherapists view and approach diagnosis in clinical practice in the USA.

Method. A survey was developed to collect both quantitative and qualitative data related to the diagnostic process and classification in orthopaedic practice. Subjects comprised 253 Board‐certified orthopaedic physiotherapy practitioners. A total of 850 surveys were administered, 253 surveys were completed, representing a return rate of 30%.

84% of respondents report that patient care is their main area of ​​professional practice. Seventy-six per cent of the subjects used a diagnostic classification system other than medical diagnosis when treating patients with low back pain. Of these, the highest percentage (38%) used a general pathophysiological classification system, 32% used the McKenzie system, and, in decreasing order of frequency, the classification based on treatment (9%) and the classification of deterioration of the disease. movement (7%).

Qualitative data suggest substantial variation in the way orthopaedic specialists view diagnosis inpatient management, with numerous common themes emerging, physiotherapy diagnosis may incorporate but goes beyond medical diagnosis, physiotherapy diagnosis occurs at various levels or systems. Physical therapists tend to view diagnosis as process-oriented and its primary purpose is to guide treatment decisions.

Conclusions. As physical therapy evolves from a prescription-only profession to a medical profession, it must pay close attention to diagnosis, the basis of evidence-based practice. The search for consensus on the role of diagnosis inpatient management should become a priority, as well as the development of a more standard taxonomy with consistent terminology.

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