Cardiorespiratory physiotherapists can look forward to a Congress that shines a spotlight on their specialty as one of the four programme strands, while at the same time appealing right across the profession.
Strand lead Hayley Yates comments: ‘As a cardiorespiratory physiotherapist, I have attended Congress in the past and sometimes felt that there was a bit of a musculoskeletal bias. So it has been refreshing to be involved in compiling a patient-centred programme, offering sessions that will be relevant to the majority of physiotherapists, assistants and students regardless of their specialty.’ She adds that many clinical interest groups have contributed to the overall programme to ensure that it is varied and not slanted to any one specialty. ‘The cardiorespiratory strand, for example, includes sessions on hydrotherapy, breathlessness, ethical issues and seated exercise,’ Ms Yates explains. Among the other highlights that Ms Yates picks out is a session by Professor Alison McConnell from Brunel University on inspiratory muscle training and the difference it can make to exercise tolerance, which has implications for athletes and patients with reduced exercise tolerance. And among the sessions on aspects of rehabilitation, David McWilliams, senior specialist physiotherapist at Manchester Royal Infirmary, is giving an update on rehabilitation in critical care and demonstrating the need for early structured exercise in these patients. He will also be discussing the long-term effects of critical illness and how these may be managed. The keynote lecturer is Patrick Doherty, professor of rehabilitation at York St John University. He will examine some of the beliefs and misconceptions around exercise for patients with cardiovasucular disease and challenge the assumption that daily activities are safe but exercise risky. ‘It’s all a matter of measurement, monitoring the appropriate variables and not being blinded by science,’ says Professor Doherty. In a second presentation he will reveal preliminary research findings, which look at the load on the heart when resistance exercises are performed in a seated position. Thierry Troosters, associate professor at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, will present a session on rehabilitation of patients with chronic obstructive airways and chronic heart failure. Jenni Jones, lecturer in physiotherapy at Brunel University, will look at the physiological changes that occur as a result of immersion in water, and consider the relevance of this for patients with coronary heart disease. She will give tips for safe and effective water-based exercise in this group. She will also present a session on functional exercise tests such as the shuttle walk test, six-minute walk test and Chester step test, looking at the information these tests can provide and the easy way in which they can be used. There will also be an overview of the physiotherapy care of cystic fibrosis patients, while Morag Farquhar, Macmillan post-doctoral research fellow, University of Cambridge, will present a session on a breathlessness intervention service aimed at symptom management for patients with intractable breathlessness, mainly those with chronic lung disease, cancer or heart failure. A panel debate on ‘to treat or not to treat’ is expected to stimulate a lot of audience participation, adds Ms Yates. Summing up the strand, she says: ‘I am looking forward to hearing all these sessions and presentations. It promises to be the best Congress yet.’
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