Prescribing change for physio profession

A lively discussion on the use of exercise prescription in physiotherapy brought opposing comments from the floor and from panel members.

The panel discussion debated whether evidence-based exercise prescription was under-employed, and even at risk of being lost from the physio profession.

Stefan Hegenscheidt, a German physio and research associate, argued: ‘We can’t be experts on everything anymore.

‘If we are going to focus on exercise prescription - which side of the profession are we going to leave behind?’

Duncan Reid, head of the School of Rehabilitation and Occupation Studies at AUT University in New Zealand, told delegates that exercise rehabilitation had an area of crossover with sports therapy professionals, and raised questions of ‘who sits where?’

Marilyn Moffat, president of WCPT and chair of the session, reminded delegates that physical therapy was born out of gym-based work and in the 1950s most practitioners came from a physical education background.

But she said most physical therapists would now say ‘high intensity exercise is not suitable for the majority of patients we treat’.

Sally Priestley

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