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  • PTNow Blog: Getting Beyond the Headlines

    The latest PTNow blog explores the complicated dynamics involved when mainstream media covers sometimes-complex health care issues, and uses coverage of APTA's Choosing Wisely® list as an example.

    "As great as it is when mainstream media outlets bring new health care research to the consumer forefront, sometimes the arrow doesn't quite hit the target," is how the blog describes what happened when National Public Radio (NPR) picked up on the association's list of "5 Things Physical Therapists and Patients Should Question."

    APTA's recommendation was, "Don't employ passive physical agents except when necessary to facilitate participation in an active treatment program," and like all items on the list, the recommendation included citations to evidence supporting the statement.

    NPR's headline? "Farewell, Heating Pad: Physical Therapists Say It Doesn't Help."

    "While NPR correctly emphasized that physical activity is stressed over passive physical agents, 'farewell, heating pad' is an over-reaching interpretation of APTA's recommendation," the blog says. The PTNow post opens up a discussion about how physical therapists and physical therapist assistants might respond to patients who have read the headlines, but haven't heard the full story.

    Have thoughts or experiences in sharing context in ways that patients can understand? Read the blog, and join the conversation.

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