There are plenty of interventions we utilize when we implement them into a plan of care for our patients. Each intervention can help address impairments and functional limitations for each individual clinical presentation. In our minds, we think whenever we prescribe an exercise or perform a manual therapy technique, it should be theoretically helpful. However, there are other considerations when choosing the best intervention for your patient.
It is important to understand your patient’s belief systems when they are seeking care for a particular injury or ailment. We must be able to understand what the patient trusts, as this will certainly help guide the initial interaction, as well as subsequent visits thereafter.
Learning about the patient’s values is essential. We must take the opportunity to learn more about our patient, to help understand what we need to do to help them achieve their respective goals. Utilizing active listening skills and promoting shared decision making, are strategies to help achieve this task.
Each patient has their own preferences for how they do things. Some patients like to play sports, some like to go for a walk, or some like to do calisthenics. The fact is there are many different modes of exercise that can be helpful. Each patient has their own unique preferences, so we should try and uncover that information. We should ask about their past experiences with physical therapy to see what was beneficial and what was not. Understanding this will ultimately help the clinician create a program that resonates with the patient.
Is it Meaningful?
And finally, is the choice of intervention meaningful to the patient. Patients seek the advice and expertise of healthcare professionals to help them achieve their goals. Therefore, interventions should be catered to the patient’s individualized needs, and ensuring that the intervention is meaningful. Patients need to see how the interventions we provide are therapeutic, functional, and help them with a self-management program. Overall, making interventions meaningful is important to promote adherence to self-management and affinity to their healthcare team.
Article Written By Eric Trauber, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, FAAOMPT