Two new APTA podcasts provide guidance to physical therapists (PTs) regarding the distinct approaches of hospice and palliative care services and the role that physical therapy plays in treating individuals in those situations.
The first podcast clarifies the 2 terms "hospice" and "palliative" based on Medicare's conditions of participation guidance published June 5, 2008, in the Federal Register. It also highlights APTA's position The Role of Physical Therapy in Hospice and Palliative Care, which was adopted by the 2011 House of Delegates.
In the second podcast, Chris Wilson, PT, DPT, GCS, describes how patients in acute care can experience rapid changes in the ability to perform activities of daily living and why regular monitoring and intervention by PTs may be required. Wilson, who provides acute care physical therapy service in the Hospice and Oncology Unit and outpatient oncology services at Beaumont Health System near Detroit, Michigan, also explains the role PTs may play in determining when less-aggressive measures, such as hospice or palliative care, may be appropriate for patients. Additionally, he addresses the need for PTs to consider the big picture and respect a patient's autonomous decision to decide what care is best—particularly when a patient opts to come off hospice care in order to qualify for a nursing home stay or rehabilitate to improve his or her strength to be able to return home.
Find more information on this topic on APTA's Hospice and Palliative Care webpage.