The profession's definitive description of who physical therapists (PTs) are, what they do, and how they do what they do is poised to release its third edition by fall 2014. The tentative release date and some of the revisions to expect were reported during the Board of Directors December meeting.
In addition to other changes to the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, first published in 1997, the third edition will be an online-only resource, as the continued evolution of the Guide includes links and references to many other online resources that shouldn’t be separated from the Guide itself. A printed book version can't offer the same connectedness to these other resources, the Board report indicated, and the Guide will lose its full usefulness if it's applied or studied in a vacuum.
Other changes are in store, too. Language will shift to International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) terminology, which APTA adopted in 2008, after the last edition of the Guide was published. The Catalogue of Tests and Measures, introduced in the second edition electronic version, will be archived and available to members, but no longer updated or intended for practical use. Instead, Guide users will find relevant tests and measures within the PTNow website.
Also, the Preferred Physical Therapist Practice Patterns will be available as an online educational tool separate from the Guide, and the range of visits and ICD-9 codes will be removed. With the third edition focusing on the core audiences of clinicians and the academic community, the inclusion of ICD codes was deemed to be unwarranted, especially in light of the pending implementation of ICD-10, which would require APTA to revise all ICD coding in the Guide.
To see the full discussion on this and other topics from the December Board of Directors meeting, watch the archived livestream of all open sessions.
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