WCPT appreciates the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists activities during a crisis situation and asks for telerehabilitation

In a letter to the Minister of Health and the presidents of the National Health Fund and the Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Tariff System, WCPT writes about the role of physiotherapy in Poland during the COVID-19 pandemic, appreciates the activities of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists in a crisis situation and recommends the implementation of telerehabilitation as soon as possible.

Recommendations of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists for physiotherapy of adult patients with COVID-19

Recommendations for physiotherapy of adults with COVID19

In the face of the spread of coronavirus infections and the introduction of epidemic status in Poland, experts of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists developed physiotherapy recommendations for infected patients. The presented study was covered by the substantive patronage of the scientific society of the Polish Physiotherapy Association (Fizjoterapia Polska).

The experts working on the following recommendations were guided by 2 objectives:

  • first of all – presenting recommendations for physiotherapy in COVID19 patients,
  • secondly, preparing and implementing our professional group to fight the pandemic.

Experts of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists have developed recommendations based on clinical expertise, available recommendations for respiratory physiotherapy, available literature (also international), as well as the experience of the Chinese Medical Association (CMA) and WHO recommendations.

The document also raises issues such as occupational safety and recommended techniques for patients with various disease history. The document is particularly dedicated to physiotherapists but is also intended and targeted at all medical professionals who come in contact with patients. That is why it was also sent to the attention of other medical self-governments (Supreme Medical Chamber, Supreme Chamber of Nurses and Midwives) and national consultants for anesthesiology and intensive care, lung diseases, internal diseases, infectious diseases, intensive care and family medicine. The letter of the President of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists regarding this matter is presented below.

Crisis Team
The Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists

President National Council of Physiotherapists
dr hab. n. med. Maciej Krawczyk

Warsaw, March 21, 2020

Mr. prof. dr hab. Łukasz Szumowski Minister of Health
ul. Miodowa 15; 00-952 Warsaw.

Dear Mr Minister,

Hereby I am presenting the recommendations from the National Chamber of Physiotherapists, developed under the auspices of the scientific society of the Polish Physiotherapy Association.

The purpose of this study is to present indications for physiotherapeutic management in patients with COVID-19 and to implement a professional group of physiotherapists to fight a pandemic in our country.

The study is based on the existing international indications for respiratory physiotherapy in patients with acute and chronic respiratory failure, as well as implications for the management of an infected patient. The study has been developed upon clinical expertise and a review of available literature, above all experiences published by the Chinese Medical Association (CMA).

Respiratory physiotherapy is an important part of a multidisciplinary approach to a patient with respiratory dysfunctions and plays a significant role in the treatment, improvement and care. Through a wide range of activities, physiotherapists support patients of all ages and with various diseases, from patients in critical, acute or chronic condition, those in hospitals, outpatient clinics, home care or rehabilitation centres. In the case of COVID-19, the most at risk to develop a severe form of a disease and death are elderly people with reduced immunity accompanied by other diseases, in particular, chronic (cardiological, pulmonary, oncological, etc.).

The role of physiotherapists in the process is indispensable, it can significantly accelerate the duration of treatment, reduce the load on the ICU departments by decreasing the time of ventilation, which also results in relieving the most important medical personnel (doctors and nurses and paramedics). In subsequent stages of treatment, physiotherapy clearly lessens the number of pulmonology complications in the follow-up outcome.

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The recommendations were developed by a group of experts from the National Chamber of Physiotherapists under the auspices of the scientific society of the Association of Physiotherapy Poland. The document is intended and directed to all medical professionals especially physiotherapists.

Letter from the President of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists to the Minister of Health

Coronavirus outbreak: The Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists appoints a crisis team.

Due to a pandemic caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 a special crisis team has been established by the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists. The team focuses on the crisis of physiotherapy, which is the result of the pandemic, and its goal is to constantly monitor the situation and develop solutions and recommendations for both physiotherapists and their patients. Find out more.

‚Physiotherapy moves’ – the first social campaign in Poland promoting physiotherapy.

Why this campaign?

We know what physiotherapy is and how it ‘moves’ every day. We know that it is an integral part of the treatment process and is not just for the patients. We know that it can also be an element of changing the lifestyle for a better and healthier. We are very happy that some politicians know this and that the World Health Organization has recognized physiotherapy as one of the health priorities. But this is not enough…

Because 50 percent of Poles have never used physiotherapy services, and nearly 5 percent do not even know what it is. This ‘moved us’.

The goal of the campaign is to promote physiotherapy and show its capabilities. Today, physiotherapy is not an addition to treatment, but an important part of it and can be an inspiration to a healthy lifestyle. We care about gaining the trust of patients and building the prestige of the physiotherapist profession. It is significant that patients who have benefited from physiotherapy have a very good opinion about it. On a scale of 1-10, patients rate a contact with a physiotherapist at 7.5, and the recommendation rate is as high as 8.15. We are proud that most would gladly recommend our services to others .

But for us it is still not enough…

To whom?

The campaign is addressed to all people, current and future patients, active and those who just want to be active. The heroes of our campaign are of different ages, they can live anywhere, they can be our neighbor, mother or child… Or you.

About physiotherapy and physiotherapists

Physiotherapy is healing by movement. The method has been used for centuries, today it accompanies us in a modern version. Such therapy does not always win patients’ trust from the beginning, because it requires them to be involved and cooperate. For a full and positive effect, it is necessary to exercise independently or with the support of the family. Physiotherapy is not as easy to use as a painkiller tablet. However, it has definitely fewer side effects and works much longer.

We, as physiotherapists, are the youngest medical self-government – not only when it comes to the average age of its representatives, but also the existence of regulations governing the profession. It was only the Act of 25 September 2015 on the Profession of Physiotherapy (https://kif.info.pl/act-profession-physiotherapy/) introduced the provisions specifying the rules for performing this profession as an independent medical profession. A year later the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists was established. Other self-governments, operating in the field of health care for many (and sometimes for several dozen) years, have been informing about their actions both the decision-makers and specialists, as well as a wide range of patients. What others have done over the decades, we must do much faster.

About the campaign

The decision to prepare the campaign was taken at one of the meetings of the Executive Board. Shooting for the social campaign were taken at the end of August. It was a large production, in which over 30 people participated (as well as 2 dogs: Fargo and Fuks and a cat Dyzio, who turned out to be very talented actors :). A high level of realization was ensured by the talented director of the young generation – Bartosz Kruhlik (http://www.kruhlik.com/pl/), a graduate of the Lodz Film School, who recently won the award in the category „Directorial Debut” for the film „Supernova” during the 44th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. Another graduate of this School – cameraman Patrik Skonieczny – was responsible for the shooting.

Shooting was taken in various locations in Warsaw and the surrounding area, including three physiotherapy offices, one primary school, several apartments or private houses, as well as… the Chamber’s office.

The slogan of the campaign is ‘Physiotherapy moves’ and its author is a physiotherapist Agnieszka Wierciak. In three films, full of warmth and positive emotions, we watch how physiotherapy restores activity to patients of all ages: an old lady after hip fracture; a young, busy girl who complains of low back pain and a boy with scoliosis, who avoids physical education, sitting all day in front of the TV screen or smartphone. We have consciously selected patients of different ages and with quite common diseases – thanks to which we educate that physiotherapy is for people of all ages and can really help in many situations that reduce activity and quality of life.

We wanted substantive correctness and full compliance with physiotherapy practice. That is why all the films, except for professional actors and extras, were attended by real representatives of our profession, who work with patients on a daily basis. They play the role of people conducting rehabilitation and restoring activity. The participation of 4 authentic physiotherapists, actually playing themselves, gives the campaign the value of authenticity and truth. We show what exemplary physiotherapy, work and relationships with patients should look like. In addition, we have introduced elements of physioprevention. In the campaign, representatives of our profession not only conduct therapy and recommend exercises, but also encourage a change in lifestyle, a healthy diet, lowering stress levels or improving relationships with family or the environment.

#PhysiotherapyMoves

1st part of the campaign – Watch, what has moved Szymek and share the video

Next videos coming soon!

All videos are available with English, German, French and Spanish subtitles!

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT95vDt9jKo
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otrTMiFw1ZY
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFdbrBeRoOY

Meeting of european representatives of physiotherapeutic communities

Meeting of european representatives of physiotherapeutic communities

On September 12th, 2019, meeting of physiotherapist communities from selected European countries were held at the headquarters of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists. The meeting attended members of chambers and associations of physiotherapists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, France, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Montenegro, Romania, and Slovakia.

The following persons participated on behalf of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists: Maciej Krawczyk – President, Ernest Wiśniewski – Vice President, Zbigniew Wroński – Vice President and members of the International Cooperation Committee – Dalia Woźnica, Weronika Krzepkowska, and Joanna Tokarska.

The subjects of the meeting were primarily: currently available procedures for access to physiotherapy, rules governing medical physiotherapy services, migration and mobility of specialists, and the dynamics of changes in physiotherapy services in Europe.

Representants of the Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists presented the way of Polish physiotherapists to the establishment of the self-government body, its goals and assigned tasks as well as reforms to date – especially newly emerging physiotherapeutic practices and including physiotherapeutic functions in the scope of guaranteed services in the field of basic health services. Guests introduced how physiotherapists associate in their countries – through the foundations and associations to the independent chambers and self-regulated bodies. The importance of exchanging experiences between participants was emphasized.

The benefits of direct access for patients to physiotherapy were discussed. Recommendations on training and promotion of professions, as well as the application of WCPT instructions to physiotherapy curricula to make the most of physiotherapy services for the independence of the profession, were highlighted. The French representative presented a new reform of the Ministry of Health and Solidarity in France (September 9th, 2019), which provides the possibility of direct access for patients to physiotherapy services in case of ankle sprain and acute low back pain to the end 2019.

During the meeting, issues related to the migration of physiotherapists were also raised. Participants discussed the known factors and its far-reaching effects. In line with the recognition that migration should be the subject of interest – a high percentage of physiotherapists in our location migrate, which also starts to be an interest of the European Union. A proposal to contact the European Commission has been made.

It was pointed out that current changes in physiotherapy from an international perspective are occurring in two directions – towards the regulation of the profession (establishment of chambers, legal regulation of the profession) and in the scope of performed activities (granting additional rights to physiotherapists). Changes in the scope of competences occur mainly in Western Europe, where physiotherapy becomes more specialized and targeted. Eastern Europe aims to regulate the profession and create structures for its operation; it is growing dynamically. It was proposed that countries introducing new competencies for physiotherapists could share their experiences with countries where specific solutions are still in planning. The knowledge resulting from these experiences can contribute to convincing the authorities and public opinion to introduce new solutions on local soil.