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  • 'First Fruits' of APTA Program Provides Clinical Guidelines on VTE

    An APTA clinical practice guideline (CPG) development process that began in 2012 is now paying off, with the upcoming publication of a new CPG on the role of the PT in management of patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE). The guidelines were jointly produced by the APTA Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section and the association's Acute Care Section, with funding and support provided by APTA.

    The 32-page document (.pdf) includes algorithms for screening for risk of VTE, determining the likelihood of a lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (LE DVT), and mobilizing patients with LE DVT, as well as 14 "action statements" that outline best practices. First e-published ahead of print in October in Physical Therapy (PTJ), APTA's research journal, a draft of the CPG was shared during the 2015 APTA Combined Sections Meeting. The final version, set for publication in the February issue of PTJ, will be used to develop pocket guides, patient brochures, podcasts, and "checklists and sample evaluation forms incorporating the recommendations of the CPG,” according to guideline authors.

    The CPG was developed through a program, started in 2012, in which APTA facilitates (and provides funding for) the creation of guidelines in partnership with sections. The assistance includes workshops and other training, and helps to shepherd the CPG all the way to final publication. The importance of CPGs—and APTA's role in their development—was featured as part of APTA's series "Physical Therapy: A Profession in Transformation" published in 2015. Also produced through the APTA program: a clinical guidance statement on the management of falls in community-dwelling older adults, developed by the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.

    "This CPG and the falls guidance statement are the first fruits in what we believe will be a series of high-quality resource documents that are focused specifically on connecting PTs and PTAs with the best available research, and making it easy for them to put that research into practice," said APTA's Anita Bemis-Dougherty, PT, DPT, MAS, vice president in the Department of Practice. "We're looking forward to much more in the months and years to come."

    The CPG was written by Ellen Hillegass, PT, PhD, FAPTA, CCS, Michael Puthoff, PT, PhD, GCS, Ethel Frese, PT, DPT, CCS, Mary Thigpen, PT, PhD, Dennis Sobush, PT, MA, DPT, CCS, and Beth Auten, MLIS, MA, AHIP.