Primary contact physiotherapy in the Emergency Department

Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG)

A new study from Adelaide, published in the April edition of Journal of Physiotherapy (Open Access), provides further evidence of the safe, timely and cost-efficient service provided by physiotherapists working in primary contact roles in the Emergency Department.

Sutton et al (2015) followed 1320 people presenting to the ED and managed by physiotherapists, matching the cohort with a similar number managed by medical staff for comparison.

Patients managed by physiotherapists stayed on average 83 minutes less than those managed by medical staff, with decreased imaging requests and no adverse events.

This study is a fantastic addition to the growing body of evidence supporting advanced practice roles.

One thought on “Primary contact physiotherapy in the Emergency Department

  1. advancedmusculoskeletalphysiotherapy says:

    de Gruchy et al (2015) Physical Therapists as Primary Practitioners in the Emergency Department: Six-Month Prospective Practice Analysis. Physical Therapy Journal. Epub ahead of print doi: 10.2522/​ptj.20130552

    And once again more information provided in this study to support the role of the physiotherapist as a Primary Practitioner in the Emergency Department.

    This observational study was conducted in Melbourne and followed over 1000 patients. It also shows a detailed assessment of diagnoses seen by the physiotherapist, including the detection of red flag pathologies such as spinal fractures and inflammatory arthropathies.

    Assessment of commonly managed diagnoses was compared to medical colleagues, and showed similar results to Sutton et al.


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