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  • New in the Literature: Mirror Therapy Program in Patients With Stroke (Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 March 29. [Epub ahead of print])

    A mirror therapy program is an effective intervention for upper-limb motor recovery and motor function improvement in patients with acute stroke, say authors of an article published in American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

    For this study, 26 patients who had an acute stroke within 6 months of study commencement were assigned to the experimental group (n = 13) or the control group (n = 13). Both experimental and control group patients participated in a standard rehabilitation program, but only the experimental group members participated in mirror therapy program for 25 minutes twice a day, 5 times a week, for 4 weeks. Researchers used the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Brunnstrom motor recovery stage, and Manual Function Test to assess changes in upper-limb motor recovery and motor function after intervention.

    In upper-limb motor recovery, the scores of Fugl-Meyer Assessment (by shoulder/elbow/forearm items, 9.54 vs 4.61; wrist items, 2.76 vs 1.07; hand items, 4.43 vs 1.46, respectively) and Brunnstrom stages for upper limb and hand (by 1.77 vs 0.69 and 1.92 vs 0.50, respectively) were improved more in the experimental group than in the control group. In upper-limb motor function, the Manual Function Test score (by shoulder item, 5.00 vs 2.23; hand item, 5.07 vs 0.46, respectively) was significantly increased in the experimental group compared with the control group. No significant differences were found between the groups for the coordination items in Fugl-Meyer Assessment.

    APTA's Low Back Pain Survey Featured in Bangor Daily News

    The Bangor Daily News, with a readership of nearly 48,000, published the results of APTA's Move Forward Low Back Pain Survey on April 26. The article quoted local APTA member Danielle Haggerty, PT, and linked to APTA's Low Back Pain by the Numbers infographic housed on www.moveforwardpt.com.

    Utilization of Health Care Services Not to Blame for High Spending in US

    Higher prices and greater use of technology appear to be the main factors driving the high rates of spending in the United States, rather than greater use of physician and hospital services, according to a Commonwealth Fund report that presents analysis of prices and health care spending in 13 industrialized countries.

    In 2009, there were 2.4 physicians per 100,000 people in the US, fewer than in all the countries in the study except Japan. The US also had the fewest physician consultations (3.9 per capita) of any country except Sweden. Relative to the other countries in the study, the US also had fewer hospital beds, short lengths of stay for acute care, and fewer hospital discharges per 1,000 population. On the other hand, US hospital stays were far more expensive than those in other countries—more than $18,000 per discharge. By comparison, the cost per discharge in Canada was about $13,000, while in Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Germany it was less than $10,000.

    High spending in the United States does not always translate into high-quality care, says the report. The US had the highest survival rates in the study for breast cancer and the best survival rates, along with Norway, for colorectal cancer. However, cervical cancer survival rates in the US were worse than average and well below those of Norway. Compared with other countries in the study, the US had high rates of asthma-related deaths among people ages 5 to 39 and, along with Germany, very high rates of amputations resulting from diabetes. US rates of in-hospital deaths after heart attack and stroke were average.

    Tickets Available for Foundation Legacy Gala

    Enjoy dinner and dancing, and share in the celebration as the 2012 Service Award Recipients are honored, at the Foundation for Physical Therapy's Legacy Gala, June 7, 7:30 pm in the Tampa Marriott Waterside, Grand Ballroom. The total amount of funds raised by students in the Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge also will be announced. 

    Individual tickets are $150 ($100 for students). Tables can be purchased for $2,000. Table sponsorships and individual tickets may be purchased when registering for PT 2012. Tickets must be purchased by May 28. A limited number of tickets will be available onsite for $200. Purchase tickets online or call the Foundation at 800/875-1378.