Physical therapy within US HTCs: A multicentre survey of utilization, practice patterns and pain management approaches

Jennifer R. Newman, Nancy Durben, Kimberly Baumann, Angela Y. Lambing, Cynthia D. Nichols, Michelle Witkop, Maria E. Santaella, Tyler W. Buckner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Practice patterns and utilization of physical therapists (PTs) affiliated with Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTCs) in the United States (US) are not well known. Aims: Describe utilization, role responsibilities and practice patterns of US HTC PTs. Identify practice patterns specifically focusing on assessment and treatment of pain. Recognize gaps in utilization and role responsibilities of PTs as part of the multidisciplinary team and suggest guidelines for PT involvement within the HTC. Methods: Respondents were a subset of a convenience sample of healthcare providers who responded to a non-validated survey developed by a multi-disciplinary panel of haemophilia experts. Results: A 33.0% response-rate (n = 59) representing all regions of US HTCs was achieved. Those working ≥10 hours per week were more likely to provide nutrition education (P =.026) and surgical options education (P <.001). Those who billed insurance for their services during comprehensive visits were more likely to provide education regarding surgical options (P =.046). The majority of PTs (95.0%) evaluated pain regardless of time spent in clinic and felt comfortable treating pain. Fifty-eight percent used a formal pain measurement tool and more likely to use a formal pain measurement tool if billing insurance (P =.004). Top five non-pharmacologic treatments recommended for pain management included splints/braces (84.8%), aquatic therapy (74.6%), orthotics (71.2%), surgical options (47.5%) and yoga (32.2%). Conclusions: This study demonstrated PT utilization across HTC centres varies widely. Gaps in care may be addressed through salary support, funded education, greater regional/national collaboration of PTs specializing in bleeding disorders and advocacy for insurance coverage for appropriate services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-350
Number of pages8
JournalHaemophilia
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Patient Care Team
  • haemophilia
  • insurance coverage
  • pain
  • physical therapist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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