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Indian J Palliat Care. 2010 Sep;16(3):138-46. doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.73670.

Physical therapy in palliative care: from symptom control to quality of life: a critical review.

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  • 1Department of Physiotherapy, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Mangalore, India.

Abstract

Physiotherapy is concerned with identifying and maximizing movement potential, within the spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Physical therapists practice in a broad range of inpatient, outpatient, and community-based settings such as hospice and palliative care centers where as part of a multidisciplinary team of care, they address the physical and functional dimensions of the patients' suffering. Physiotherapy treatment methods like therapeutic exercise, electrical modalities, thermal modalities, actinotherapy, mechanical modalities, manual physical therapy and assistive devices are useful for a range of life-threatening and life-limiting conditions like cancer and cancer-associated conditions; HIV; neurodegenerative disorders like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis; respiratory disorders like idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; and altered mental states. The professional armamentarium is still expanding with inclusion of other miscellaneous techniques which were also proven to be effective in improving quality of life in these patients. Considering the scope of physiotherapy in India, and in palliative care, professionals in a multidisciplinary palliative care team need to understand and mutually involve toward policy changes to successfully implement physical therapeutic palliative care delivery.

KEYWORDS:

Palliative physiotherapy; Quality of life; Rehabilitation; Therapeutic modalities

PMID:
21218003
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3012236
Free PMC Article
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