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Physiotherapy intervention practice patterns used in rehabilitation after distal radial fracture

Abstract

Objectives

To identify the type and frequency of interventions used by physiotherapists in rehabilitating patients after a distal radial fracture; and, to examine whether any patient or therapist characteristics had an effect on the frequency of interventions administered.

Design

Observational study.

Setting

Four metropolitan outpatient physiotherapy departments.

Participants

14 physiotherapists reported on 160 distal radial fracture consultations.

Main outcome measures

Physiotherapists recorded the type of interventions and time spent administering interventions during each distal radial fracture consultation.

Results

A combined site response rate of 70% was achieved (160/204). The most common interventions were exercise (155/160), advice (144/160), passive joint mobilisation (88/160) and massage (60/160). Patient characteristics and physiotherapist experience had little impact on the type and frequency of interventions reported by physiotherapists.

Conclusions

Exercise and advice were the most frequently administered interventions for patients after a distal radial fracture irrespective of physiotherapist or patient factors. During rehabilitation, these interventions aim to restore wrist mobility and are consistent with both fracture management principles and a self management approach. Due to the routine use of exercise and advice there is a need for further research to provide high quality evidence that these interventions improve outcomes in patients after a distal radial fracture.

Cite this article

Physiotherapy intervention practice patterns used in rehabilitation after distal radial fracture.Physiotherapy - September 2013 (Vol. 99, Issue 3, Pages 233-240, DOI: 10.1016/j.physio.2012.09.003)

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