Research & implementation

Student Led Neurological Rehabilitation Group

Adults with long-term neurological conditions have low levels of participation in physical activities and report many barriers to exercise. This study used a mixed methods approach to evaluate participant experiences and outcomes following participation in student-led, community-based neurological groups and to explore the feasibility of performing a full-scale study.

The Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM) tool

Impaired mobility and balance correlate strongly with an individual's function and overall state of health. The Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM) is a graphic and rapid assessment of balance and mobility originally designed for use within the hospitalised elderly. The measure has been used predominantly within frail elderly populations; however the aims of this study were to assess the utility of the HABAM to an elective orthopaedic population.

Implementing and evaluating a pilot physiotherapist-led osteoarthritis clinic in general practice

Joint pain due to osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of disability, work-loss and reduced quality of life in older adults. NICE clinical guidelines recommend core OA treatment should include education, exercise and weight-loss (when applicable). However, despite the evidence-base, many people with OA do not currently receive these treatments. This report describes and evaluates the implementation of a clinical-academic physiotherapist OA clinic embedded into a general practice.

Communication within pathways of care in hip fracture physiotherapy rehabilitation in England and Wales

Hip fracture is a leading cause of morbidity in people over 60 years old. People experiencing hip fracture require rehabilitation, often from a number of teams, throughout their recovery period. Communication between these different teams poses a challenge to the continuity of care. Communication between professionals delivering care is essential to ensure safe and effective care, continuity of treatment and rehabilitation planning. We used data from the national 'Hip Sprint' audit to understand the flow of information across the hip fracture pathway.

Delivering self-management for LBP via a digital solution in primary care

Most low back pain (LBP) does not need specific or specialist treatment and will often resolve if people follow simple evidence-based advice. Access to this advice is inconsistent with people often self-managing via untrusted resources online. Using digital technology to provide immediate day-by-day support whilst connecting people to their local MSK pathway and support services, has the potential to deliver trusted evidence-based advice in a consistent and standardised way. We are introducing a self-management solution (getUBetter) into the routine care of patients with LBP. Implementation should lead to quicker recovery, better outcomes, and a reduction in overall healthcare spend.

The use of electrical stimulation in the treatment of adult traumatic brachial plexus injuries

Traditionally the Electrical Stimulation (ES) of muscles was a frequently used adjunct for rehabilitation following nerve injury. More recently its use has been in decline. An international collaborative group of therapists with a special interest in Traumatic Brachial Plexus Injuries (TBPI) was formed in 2017. One of the objectives of the group is to assess and improve the evidence base surrounding the rehabilitation of TBPI. Disparity within the group with regards to the use of ES highlighted the need to explore current practice and the reasons for variability in use.

Use of a patient reported outcome measure with acute adult in-patients receiving physiotherapy

The use of outcome measures is well evidenced and documented. Despite prevalent use of various clinician reported outcome measures (CROMs), patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) are often in the form of detailed quality of life questionnaires, which are not appropriate in acute, fast paced environments. A new PROM tool (called thera-PROM) was devised and used with the aim of measuring the effect of goal-focused physiotherapy interventions in an acute adult in-patient setting. Process and data evaluation aims to identify standards and guidelines for future use to support service evaluation and quality measurement.

The small scale project was carried out as a starter to implement an appropriate PROM tool for the clinical area where there was not previously any PROM tool used as it had not been possible to identify an existing PROM tool that was fit for purpose.  The findings may be useful to share with other therapists for wider use or consideration when implementing a PROM tool.

Implementing a cycle ergometry protocol for patients with critical illness

Early rehabilitation of patients in critical care (CC) units demonstrates clear patient benefits for outcomes of physical function, muscle strength and length of stay. Cycle-ergometry as a modality for early rehabilitation is safe and feasible in mechanically ventilated patients once they are medically stable. However, it is widely recognised that implementing such an intervention outside of a clinical trial can be challenging.

Nottingham University Hospitals NUS Trust introduced a protocol for cycle ergometry for all eligible adult patients in CC. The aim of this service evaluation (SE) was to determine whether an early cycle-ergometry protocol could be safely delivered and was operationally feasible. The SE also aimed to highlight any barriers to implementation that were modifiable. The SE was registered with the Trust number 17-239C

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