Brian Wrotniak, PT, PhD
This is 1 of 4 collaborative care models APTA is supporting as part of Innovation 2.0. Starting in April 2016, APTA and the 4 models' member experts are conducting online Learning Labs to share the results of the models. Below is a brief description of the model:
December 15, 2017
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Childhood obesity is a prevalent chronic health condition that has reached epidemic levels in the US. More cost-effective approaches are needed in addressing this serious health problem. The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) may be a practical solution to providing a more comprehensive cost-effective approach to childhood obesity. We propose a feasibility study to test an innovative health care model aimed at childhood obesity prevention in which the physical therapist would be an integral partner of the PCMH team. Physical therapists will play a key role in measurements of obesity-related signs and symptoms that affect the human movement system including aerobic fitness deficit, lower extremity joint pain and strength deficit, gait dysfunction and motor control deficit. The physical therapist will also evaluate and monitor children's physical activity and sedentary behaviors, and will be trained in behavioral strategies to enhance physical activity and parental support. Cost-effectiveness will be measured by tracking incidence of disease rates and hospitalization for obesity-related conditions. Other members of the team include the pediatrician, medical fellow, nutritionist, nurse/nurse practitioner, social worker, biostatistician and health care coordinator. Referrals to specialists (e.g., physical therapists when a cluster of impairments appear that indicate a human movement disorder associated with obesity) will also be coordinated so that appropriate care is received. Regular follow-up will occur in order to document progress and help patients/families with self-management. The PCMH provides a timely opportunity for PTs to formalize their role as one of the natural health care providers of an emerging health care model. The results of this project could provide support for the inclusion of physical therapists in PCMHs that target obesity as well as other chronic health conditions that affect human movement.