A mirror therapy program is an effective intervention for upper-limb motor recovery and motor function improvement in patients with acute stroke, say authors of an article published in American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
For this study, 26 patients who had an acute stroke within 6 months of study commencement were assigned to the experimental group (n = 13) or the control group (n = 13). Both experimental and control group patients participated in a standard rehabilitation program, but only the experimental group members participated in mirror therapy program for 25 minutes twice a day, 5 times a week, for 4 weeks. Researchers used the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Brunnstrom motor recovery stage, and Manual Function Test to assess changes in upper-limb motor recovery and motor function after intervention.
In upper-limb motor recovery, the scores of Fugl-Meyer Assessment (by shoulder/elbow/forearm items, 9.54 vs 4.61; wrist items, 2.76 vs 1.07; hand items, 4.43 vs 1.46, respectively) and Brunnstrom stages for upper limb and hand (by 1.77 vs 0.69 and 1.92 vs 0.50, respectively) were improved more in the experimental group than in the control group. In upper-limb motor function, the Manual Function Test score (by shoulder item, 5.00 vs 2.23; hand item, 5.07 vs 0.46, respectively) was significantly increased in the experimental group compared with the control group. No significant differences were found between the groups for the coordination items in Fugl-Meyer Assessment.
The Bangor Daily News, with a readership of nearly 48,000, published the results of APTA's Move Forward Low Back Pain Survey on April 26. The article quoted local APTA member Danielle Haggerty, PT, and linked to APTA's Low Back Pain by the Numbers infographic housed on www.moveforwardpt.com.
Higher prices and greater use of technology appear to be the main factors driving the high rates of spending in the United States, rather than greater use of physician and hospital services, according to a Commonwealth Fund report that presents analysis of prices and health care spending in 13 industrialized countries.
In 2009, there were 2.4 physicians per 100,000 people in the US, fewer than in all the countries in the study except Japan. The US also had the fewest physician consultations (3.9 per capita) of any country except Sweden. Relative to the other countries in the study, the US also had fewer hospital beds, short lengths of stay for acute care, and fewer hospital discharges per 1,000 population. On the other hand, US hospital stays were far more expensive than those in other countries—more than $18,000 per discharge. By comparison, the cost per discharge in Canada was about $13,000, while in Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Germany it was less than $10,000.
High spending in the United States does not always translate into high-quality care, says the report. The US had the highest survival rates in the study for breast cancer and the best survival rates, along with Norway, for colorectal cancer. However, cervical cancer survival rates in the US were worse than average and well below those of Norway. Compared with other countries in the study, the US had high rates of asthma-related deaths among people ages 5 to 39 and, along with Germany, very high rates of amputations resulting from diabetes. US rates of in-hospital deaths after heart attack and stroke were average.
Enjoy dinner and dancing, and share in the celebration as the 2012 Service Award Recipients are honored, at the Foundation for Physical Therapy's Legacy Gala, June 7, 7:30 pm in the Tampa Marriott Waterside, Grand Ballroom. The total amount of funds raised by students in the Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge also will be announced.
Individual tickets are $150 ($100 for students). Tables can be purchased for $2,000. Table sponsorships and individual tickets may be purchased when registering for PT 2012. Tickets must be purchased by May 28. A limited number of tickets will be available onsite for $200. Purchase tickets online or call the Foundation at 800/875-1378.
This month's PTJ includes several articles that illustrate clinical decision making by physical therapists, highlighting opportunities for screening and referral and for screening and thoughtful clinical intervention. Hear Editor in Chief Rebecca Craik, PT, PhD, FAPTA, summarize articles on direct access, exercise prescription for fall prevention, using the six-minute walk test for people with traumatic brain injury, hippotherapy for children, and more in her latest Craikcast.
The May issue also includes 2 engaging case reports and a health policy perspective on the role of physical therapists in smoking cessation.
Getting adequate physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the chance of recurrence of many cancers and increase the likelihood of disease-free survival after a diagnosis, say new guidelines from the American Cancer Society. The guidelines encourage survivors to aim to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, and to include strength training exercises at least 2 days per week.
The society has issued previous reports outlining the evidence on the effect of nutrition and physical activity on cancer recurrence and survival. However, this is the first time the evidence has been strong enough to release formal guidelines for survivorship. For this report, a group of experts in nutrition, physical activity, and cancer survivorship evaluated the scientific evidence and best clinical practices related to optimal nutrition and physical activity after the diagnosis of cancer. Among the review's conclusions:
The recommendations also include specific guidance for people diagnosed with breast, colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, lung, prostate, head and neck, and hematologic cancers. It also includes a section with answers to common questions about alcohol, organic foods, sugar, supplements, and several other areas of interest.
Free, full text of Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Survivors is available online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
In recognition of Older Americans Month, the Department of Health and Human Services urges older Americans to stay active, take care of their health, and be involved in their communities. This year's theme Never Too Old to Play encourages older adults to maintain their health by taking advantage of Medicare's preventive benefits that include a yearly wellness visit, tobacco use cessation counseling, and a range of free screenings for cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
Visit the Older Americans Month website for resources and tools to help plan and promote events and activities honoring older Americans this month.