PT’s as “fitness experts”?

Interesting article in today’s WSJ about PT’s as fitness experts for those over 50.  I think the article itself is good, however implementation of the idea is problematic due to direct access, and I think there is the potential for abuse of the idea.  However, I think that an initial eval (referral for a functional impairment, etc) with specific goals (address the three areas of the ICF, 6MWT, FTSTS, etc), then either turning them over to a trainer, a small class, or some other way of tracking adherence and meeting their personal goals would be ideal.  I think the patient in the article with a lack of direction from her PCP and a complete misunderstanding of her situation from trainers points to the need/ ability for PT’s to get a person started back to health (is LBP or a torn ACL any more special for a PT to treat than the issue of weight/ knee pain or DM2, CHF, etc affecting a persons return to what they want/ need to do?).  Health care reform will make the use of technology (Web 2.0, etc) more important, as technology may make it more feasible to improve patient adherence.  Future posts to come on this idea, both from the literature as well as my own reflections/ attempts.


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