Physiotherapy as a clinical service in emergency departments: a narrative review

Anaf, Sophie, and Sheppard, Lorraine A. (2007) Physiotherapy as a clinical service in emergency departments: a narrative review. Physiotherapy, 93 (4). pp. 243-252.

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Objectives To develop a narrative literature review using international research to describe the role and responsibilities of an emergency department physiotherapist considering the current focus on patient populations, clinical conditions managed, and the contribution that emergency department physiotherapy makes to service delivery and quality. Data sources Literature was sourced from medical database searches of MEDLINE, Cochrane, PEDro, PubMed and CINAHL, between 1966 and May 2006. Review methods Selection criteria included the description of physiotherapy based directly in the emergency department, emergency department physiotherapists working either as sole clinical practitioners or as members of a multidisciplinary team, systematic literature reviews and/or original emergency department physiotherapy research, publication in peer-reviewed journals, and full-text English language articles. Research was appraised critically using a validated critical appraisal tool. Data analysis involved extracting information via a process of content analysis. Results Nine studies were eligible for inclusion in this narrative review. Patients were almost always adults, with a particular focus on managing ageing patients. Clinical conditions were predominantly acute and subacute musculoskeletal conditions. Emergency department physiotherapy provides positive patient satisfaction and can have a positive influence on departmental service issues including patient waiting times. A significant paucity of literature remains, with further need for high-quality clinical trials to augment these proposed findings. Conclusions The evidence suggests an inclination for emergency department physiotherapy services to manage adult musculoskeletal conditions. However, the validity of these results is compromised by the small number and variable quality of studies, making it difficult to determine clinical efficacy within the reviewed sample.

Item ID: 2464
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0031-9406
Keywords: physiotherapy; multidisciplinary team; emergency department
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Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2009 05:59
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine > 110499 Complementary and Alternative Medicine not elsewhere classified @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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