Engaging Patients in Treatment

Home > Articles > Engaging Patients in Treatment
By Andrea Spridgen

One of the keys to successful healthcare is an engaged patient-provider relationship that includes clear communication about the treatment goals, and trust between the individuals; this is particularly true in physical medicine and rehabilitation. This issue of The O&P EDGE explores ways practitioners can facilitate patient partnerships to drive positive outcomes.

Many practitioners I've spoken with over the years have expressed that the most gratifying aspect of their jobs is the relationships they develop with patients. "The Therapeutic Alliance and Outcomes" explores the effects that a practitioner's personal connection with patients can have on the results of their care. This connection creates a collaborative relationship between the patient and the practitioner that increases compliance, satisfaction with the rehabilitation process, and physical function, as the provider and patient work together toward their shared rehabilitation goals.

Another aspect of partnership in the O&P realm is found in the incorporation of physical or occupational therapists, mental health professionals, and social workers, as well as physicians and O&P professionals in the rehabilitation process. "The Key to Optimizing Upper-limb Prosthetic Rehabilitation" describes the impact of integrated occupational therapy within upper-limb prosthetic rehabilitation, which allows not only the healthcare team to work together, but also the therapist and patient to work as a team to optimize device functionality. This article also introduces several unique outcome measures that are being used to evaluate and modify care plans and assess results of a specialized, interdisciplinary care model.

Motivation and engagement can be a challenge in O&P patient compliance, particularly regarding prosthetic rehabilitation therapy. One popular trend to address this challenge is to utilize easily accessible video game technology as a rehabilitation tool. "Commercially Available Video Games in Prosthetic Rehabilitation" reviews published research on the efficacy of incorporating this approach to improve mobility and balance in lower-limb prosthesis users.

Finally, also in the spirit of partnership, I want to congratulate my team members at The O&P EDGE  for being awarded two 2017 Editorial TABBIE awards, an awards program sponsored by Trade, Association and Business Publications International (TABPI), that rewards the efforts undertaken to produce a useful resource for our readers.

Happy reading.