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Physiotherapy 2012: Enthusiasm is crucial in Parkinson’s teams

26 October 2012 - 12:40pm

Teams working with patients with Parkinson’s must have a keen interest in the field, a postdoctoral researcher from Radboud University’s Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands told the CSP’s Physiotherapy UK 2012.

Dr Samyra Keus, who is helping to produce a revamped set of European Parkinson’s guidelines that is due to be completed next spring, said it was vital to have ‘dedicated and enthusiastic’ team members.
 
The new guidelines would emphasise the need for close collaboration between professionals, and would promote self-management techniques, she noted.
 
Lynn Rochester, professor of human movement science at Newcastle University, welcomed the imminent release of the new guidelines. They were ‘timely and very important’, she noted.
 
Describing patients with Parkinson’s as being ‘very difficult to treat’, Professor Rochester said there was evidence that exercise could help to restore their physical function and reduce the severity of symptoms.
 
Thanks to a grant from Parkinson’s UK, colleagues at her university were developing computer games that could enable patients with Parkinson’s to improve their balance, for example.
 
‘This will allow more self management in their own homes. There aren’t enough therapists to deliver face-to-face therapy,’ said Professor Rochester.
 
‘We have to look at working in more creative ways to encourage exercise,’ she added.
 
At a question and answer session, Ralph Hammond, a CSP professional adviser, said a recently-published survey showed that patients with Parkinson’s could wait as long as three and a half years to see a physiotherapist. 

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