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Prevention, Wellness and Health Promotion in Neurologic Physical Therapy

presented by David Morris, PT, PhD, FAPTA

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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In recent years, health care practitioners have begun to recognize the need to transition our health care system from one that focuses on sick care (i.e., waiting for individuals to become ill and then promote recovery) to one that focuses on prevention and wellness. In addition to leading to a dramatic reduction in health care costs, this more contemporary approach could prove to be significantly more effective for reducing rates of mortality and disease morbidity. This is true for all patient/client populations including those with neurologic dysfunction. The mobility limitations and other barriers to healthy lifestyle practices faced by these individuals require thoughtful and creative solutions for success. Physical therapy (PT) practitioners are uniquely positioned to incorporate prevention, wellness and health promotion into their professional practice because of their educational background and expertise, the frequency and duration of the visits they have with their patients/clients, and the trusting relationship they typically form with their patients/clients. This course addresses the PT practitioner's role in promoting prevention, wellness and health promotion by: 1) describing professional practices and competencies involved in this type of health care delivery; 2) examining health behavior and strategies to promote health behavior change as needed; 3) exploring delivery possibilities for promoting health in community settings; and 4) identifying useful resources for learning more on this topic. An emphasis will be placed on applying these concepts to patients/clients with neurologic dysfunction.

Meet Your Instructor

David Morris, PT, PhD, FAPTA

David M. Morris, PT, PhD, FAPTA is Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where, since 1991, he has taught in the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy and PhD in Rehabilitation Science degree programs. Morris earned a BS in physical…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. The Language of Prevention, Wellness and Health Promotion

This chapter addresses the understanding of key terms related to the practice of prevention, wellness and health promotion. Learners will then be able to more clearly and accurately discuss these concepts applied to neurologic physical therapy practice. Relevant knowledge areas of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties’ Neurologic Physical Therapy Description of Practice will be identified.

2. The Physical Therapy Professionals Role in Prevention, Wellness and Health Promotion with Patients/Clients with Neurologic Dysfunction

This chapter provides a rationale for the need for prevention, wellness and health promotion with neurologic patient/client populations. The evolution of and rationale for the PT and PTA as a prevention, wellness and health promotion practitioner are also addressed.

3. Health Behavior Theories

Constructs from selected health behavior theories (i.e., Health Belief Model, Transtheoretical Model/Stages of Change Theory, Social Cognitive Theory) are described. These theories are helpful for understanding behavior related to health and to develop strategies/programs for promoting health behavior change.

4. Health Focused Physical Therapy for Patient/Client Management

This chapter describes a physical therapy practice model directed at routinely and systematically integrating lifestyle medicine into PT clinical practice. Examples for promoting important lifestyle behaviors (e.g., physical activity, smoking cessation) with patient/clients with neurologic dysfunction will be provided.

5. Community-Based Health Promotion for Patient/Clients with Neurologic Dysfunction

This chapter addresses critical steps for planning and promoting community-based health promotion programs. Evidence based health promotion programs that could be applied to and beneficial for patients/clients with neurologic dysfunction will be discussed.

6. Resources for Learning More about Prevention, Wellness and Health Promotion in Neurologic Physical Therapy

This chapter addresses strategies and resources that assist PT practitioners to learn more about and to integrate prevention, wellness and health promotion into their professional practice activities. These resources include websites, organizations, books and journals.

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