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UK guidance on Parkinson’s

International guidance for physiotherapists who treat patients with Parkinson’s disease has been adapted for the first time for use in the UK.

The Royal Dutch Society for Physical Therapy produced physio-specific, evidence-based guidelines for Parkinson’s patients in 2004. The Parkinson’s Disease Society then set up a project to put the guidelines into a UK context and make them accessible for clinical use here.

Consultant physiotherapist in intermediate care Bhanu Ramaswamy, who has a role covering Parkinson’s disease for two CSP special interest groups, led the working group. She said an innovative feature of the Dutch guidelines was the inclusion of four ‘quick-reference’ cards, which all physiotherapists could use to support their clinical practice in clinics, on the wards

or in community settings.

She told Frontline: ‘These are of particular importance as most physios are not in specialist centres where they have the opportunity of working with large numbers of patients with Parkinson’s disease.’

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published guidelines on Parkinson’s disease in 2006, but Bhanu Ramaswamy said these were very strongly medicines-based whereas the Dutch guidance was specific to physio, focusing in detail on assessment, treatment strategies and outcome measurement.

The UK version of the quick reference cards was launched last week at the national conference on Parkinson’s disease held by the CSP’s clinical interest group for older people, Agile.

Bhanu Ramaswamy is currently part of a national group, run by the Parkinson’s Disease Society and British Geriatric Society, which is planning a national audit tool for physiotherapists working with Parkinson’s patients as a run-up to reviewing the implementation of the NICE guidance.

CSP members will be able to access the Dutch guidance through the neurology and older people’s networks on the Society’s member networking website, interactiveCSP. 

Further information



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