A successful intervention

A rehab class has catered for the needs of Peterborough’s South Asian population. The physios explain how...

Priyanika Jesrani and Tanisha Saboo
Priyanika Jesrani and Tanisha Saboo are senior physios at DynamicHealth

The South Asian population is the second-largest ethnic group in Peterborough.

We found that this group often have low follow-up rates, increased non-attendance for appointments and achieve poorer outcomes from physiotherapy. Possible reasons could be a preference to be seen by a female therapist or a limitation to participate in existing classes due to language and/or cultural barriers.

We developed a rehabilitation class that catered to the needs of this group, fully supported by our leadership, co-production and communications colleagues. We aimed to establish whether negotiating language and cultural barriers and delivering a rehabilitation class in Hindi/Urdu improved patient clinical outcomes. 

Our unique selling point was a partnership with Healthy Peterborough, the city’s health and wellbeing service. This facilitated our ladies to be taken by the hand and led into the community to continue their learning, rehabilitation and peer support.

The classes were a holistic mix of culturally specific education sessions, group exercise sessions and a home exercise programme. Class materials and home exercise sheets were as visual as possible with minimal wording.  

The pilot programme ran from September 2019 until March 2020, comprising of five cohorts, with a maximum of six patients per group. Each group was offered five sessions of 90 minutes, one session per week. Analysis of pre-and post-programme data showed the intervention improved MSK-HQ and VAS scores significantly, and improved functional goals while maintaining high patient attendance.

One service user said:

I am able to go back to work because of this. This is better than medicine.

Our team at DynamicHealth (part of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust) continue to adapt services in light of Covid-19; these classes are now successfully running virtually. 

We are also the proud winners of the ‘Outstanding Achievement of the Year’ award at the National BAME Health and Care Awards, which recognised our success in addressing health inequalities and catering to one of the most marginalised groups in the community. 

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