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  • New in the Literature: Reducing Multiple Sclerosis-related Fatigue (Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Feb 8 [Epub ahead of print])

    A new systematic review provides evidence that, in the short term, energy conservation management (ECM) treatment can be more effective than no treatment in reducing the impact of fatigue and improving quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis-related fatigue.

    For this review, the authors searched PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Web of Knowledge to identify relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials. To select potential studies, 2 reviewers independently applied the inclusion criteria. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed the methodological quality of the studies included. If meta-analysis was not possible, qualitative best-evidence synthesis was used to summarize the results.

    The searches identified 532 studies, 6 of which were included. The studies compared the short-term effects of ECM treatment and control treatment on fatigue and quality of life (QoL); 1 study reported short- and mid-term effects on participation but found no evidence for effectiveness. Meta-analyses (2 RCTs, N=350) showed that ECM treatment was more effective than no treatment in improving subscale scores of the: (1) Fatigue Impact Scale: cognitive, physical, and psychosocial; and (2) SF-36: role physical, social function, and mental health. Limited or no evidence was found for the effectiveness of ECM treatment on the other outcomes in the short- or mid-term. None of the studies reported long-term results.

    This systematic review is published online in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

    Member Opportunity to Serve on Public Policy and Advocacy Committee

    APTA's Public Policy and Advocacy Committee is seeking members to provide strategic advice, counsel, and options to the Board of Directors regarding: (1) how APTA can be responsive to and advocate for society’s needs provided by physical therapists and physical therapist assistants; (2) current and emerging public policy issues impacting the provision of physical therapy, rehabilitation, and  health care services; and (3) how to advance the profession within public policy arenas. Interested members should respond to the call by completing a volunteer interest profile found on the Volunteer Interest Pool webpage. The first step is creating a "profile" for service. After developing a profile, to be considered for this committee members must then access the "current opportunities for service page" and respond to the question specific to this committee. The deadline to respond to this call is March 7. For more information on this task force, click on the link above or contact Justin Moore, PT, DPT, vice president, public policy, practice, and professional affairs.

    APTA Letter to Editor Clarifies PT's Role in Treating Plantar Fasciitis

    APTA sent a letter to the editor of The New York Times regarding its February 20 article "No Consensus on a Common Cause of Foot Pain" by Gretchen Reynolds. APTA clarified the physical therapist's role in treating plantar fasciitis and explained PT education and how consumers may use direct access. 

    Percentage of Americans Covered by Employer-based Insurance Holds Steady in 2012

    Fewer Americans reported having employer-based health insurance in 2012 than did in 2008, 2009, and 2010, but at 44.5% it is unchanged from 2011, says a new Gallup poll. At the same time, more Americans continue to report having a government-based health plan—Medicare, Medicaid, or military or veterans' benefits—with the 25.6% who did so in 2012 up from 23.4% in 2008.

    The percentage of Americans (11.9%) who say they get their coverage through "something else," which could mean they buy it for themselves, has been relatively unchanged over the years. While more Americans remain uninsured than in the past, the percentage who are uninsured decreased slightly in 2012 (16.9%), after having risen each year previously going back to 2009.

    High unemployment is partly to blame for the decrease in employer-based health insurance from 2008-2010. The decline also may caused by fewer employers offering insurance or by employees opting to not take their employers' plan due to rising health insurance costs for employees, reports Gallup.

    The decline in employer-based coverage from earlier years is apparent for workers employed full time for an employer or for themselves. However, the percentage of part-time workers who have employer-based insurance rose in 2012. This group leans toward younger workers, who are likely to be insured since enactment of the health care law provision allowing those up to age 26 to stay on their parents' plans.