30 June 2011
A team of physiotherapists from Health and Social Services travelled to Amsterdam last week to present their research work to an international audience at the World Physical Therapy Congress.
The Congress takes place every 4 years and brings together clinicians, academics and researchers from across the world from various disciplines related to physical health and rehabilitation.
Superintendent Physiotherapist, Chris Sanderson, whose staff attended the conference said, “This was a significant achievement from such a small department and Island, and illustrates the quality and expertise of the team. We can be justly proud of our staff. Not only are they providing excellent care but they are also contributing to the body of research evidence which informs our practice. These events allow us to benchmark our services against the best in the world while learning about the latest innovations and developments and bringing back our findings to share with our wider department.”
The research team
The research team, led by Dr Julia Morris, clinical specialist physiotherapist at Jersey’s Pain Clinic, has worked collaboratively across Health as well as with the Statistics Unit and Social Security to produce the research work. The team includes Kim Richings and Paul Michel, who are both Senior Physiotherapists who jointly run the award winning Back Assessment Clinic.
The team presented 3 different pieces of research. Dr Morris said, “We were delighted that the Congress organisers felt all three pieces of research work we submitted met their strict inclusion criteria. Having such a breadth of work accepted was wonderful. This illustrates both the expertise but also the diversity of our working roles.”
Dr Morris led the team in their efforts to capture and describe the valuable work they do in a way that was appropriate for peer review and scrutiny by a World Congress audience. She said, “Writing for publication or presentation is a specialist skill and this is something that we worked on as a team. It has had an invaluable influence on day to day clinical work because it required the clinician to be critical of their work and reflect on the services they provide. The aim is to ensure we are both clinically and cost effective.”
The 3 presentations included:
- research with the general population into attitudes and beliefs about the condition of low back pain
- the impact that a brief educational programme and the introduction of a new service has had on guideline use of x-ray investigations
- an investigation into the most important factors in producing good rehabilitation outcomes for chronic pain patients who attend functional rehabilitation classes
Dr Morris said, "The work was done in collaboration with Dr Gari Purcell-Jones and Dr Chad Taylor, Anaesthetists and Pain Specialists at Jersey’s Pain Clinic and also the radiography department. Both doctors are clinical leads at the Clinic and support the clinical research efforts of their team. Although they were unable to attend the Congress, they were very pleased that the work was included. We also worked with Professor Paul Watson from Leicester University, the Statistics Unit and the Social Security Department."
He continued, "Knowing what our local population understand and believe about low back pain should help us design and implement appropriate services to assist them in their rehabilitation.The work we have done with our local community has now also been published in an international research journal and will contribute to the body of knowledge used by the wider clinical and research community. Our results suggested that targeting public health campaigns at those with a previous history of work absence due to low back pain and those with the greatest impact on activity may produce a greater overall effect than a broad based approach when tackling disability associated with this condition."