Role of Physiotherapists in Global Health
Top Contributors - Kim Jackson
Introduction[edit | edit source]
According to the WHO 2011 World Report on Disability, around 15 percent of the global population has some form of disability (i.e. more than 1 billion people). Prevalence of disability is higher in resource-poor countries compared to high-income countries. The global estimate for disability is increasing due to ageing populations, the spread of chronic diseases and improvements in the methodologies used to calculate disability. 
There are many ways that physiotherapists can participate in global health work beyond direct patient care, including advocating for and developing rehabilitation programmes (Alappat et al., 2007), as well as continuing to be more involved in the international trend to implement Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) as a strategy for sustainable and effective development of the health and social sectors.
The question of what skills, knowledge and qualities must physiotherapists possess in order to do ethical and effective global health work remains.
How Do Physiotherapists Fit Into Global Health?[edit | edit source]
According to Mickan et al (2010), “there is a clear requirement for collaboration among health workers from different professional backgrounds as no one person is able to deliver care to meet the complete needs of the patient.”  Collaborative Practice is noted to “[occur] when multiple health workers provide comprehensive services by working together synergistically along with their patients, their families, carers and communities to deliver the highest quality of care across settings.” 
Physiotherapists are key members of collaborative inter-professional teams due to their broad scope of practice. As is typical with varying locales, the specific role of a physiotherapist varies according to the needs of the specific population in question. At the First Physical Therapy Summit on Global Health in 2007, the overarching roles of the physiotherapist as an “Agent of Change” and “Health Advocate” were discussed.  Some of these roles include:
Members of Inter-disciplinary Health Teams
|Educators and Mentors related to  : |
Leaders and Active Participants
Physiotherapists Role in Global Health Issues[edit | edit source]
Physiopedia Resources of PTs role are given below -
References[edit | edit source]
- World Health Organisation. World report on disability: Malta; 2011. 325p.
- Mickan S, Hoffman SJ, Nasmith L; World Health Organizations Study Group on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice. Collaborative practice in a global health context: Common themes from developed and developing countries. J of Interprofessional Care. 2010 24(5): 492-502.
- The First Physical Therapy Summit on Global Health: Implications and Recommendations for the 21st centuryfckLRPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice: An International Journal of Physiotherapy. 2011; 27(8).
- Alappat C, Siu G, Penfold A, McGovern B, McFarland J, Raman S, Landry MD. Role of Canadian Physical Therapists in Global Health Initiatives: SWOT Analysis. fckLRPhysiotherapy Canada. 2007; 59(4): 272-285.
- Naidoo N, Barnes R Mlenzana N, Mostert K, Amosun D. Physiotherapy in rehabilitation and prohabilitation across the lifespan. South African Medical Journal. 2019;109:142-4.
- Kunstler B, Fuller R, Pervan S, Merolli M. Australian adults expect physiotherapists to provide physical activity advice: a survey. Journal of Physiotherapy. 2019;65(4):230-6.
- Freene N, Cools S, Bissett B. Are we missing opportunities? Physiotherapy and physical activity promotion: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2017;9:19.
- Shore H, Hebron C. Musculoskeletal physiotherapists' perceptions of health promotion. Musculoskeletal Science & Practice. 2020;50:102260.
- Abaraogu UO, Onah U, Abaraogu OD, Fawole HO, Kalu ME, Seenan CA. Knowledge, Attitudes, and the Practice of Health Promotion among Physiotherapists in Nigeria. Physiother Can. 2019;71(1):92-100.
- Global Health Division. Developing sustainable programs in rural India: vlog with Andrea Mendoza. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrQu9AQXfKg [last accessed 15/05/16]