Recent developments in the extended scope of the physiotherapist and physical therapist are moving towards prescribing rights for our profession. Following a lengthy campaigning by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) in July 2012 in a ground-breaking change to their role Physiotherapists in the UK were given new responsibilities to independently prescribe medicines to their patients. The Australian Physiotherapy Association is now working to develop a similar model prescribing pathway. In preparation for this evolved role in Australia an article has been published that summarises the current evidence base for Australian physiotherapists seeking to obtain prescribing rights. Many lessons can be learnt from the literature, including the importance of planned, uniform National action (rather than piecemeal state-by-state initiatives). Essential elements include appropriate training and skills-based recognition within the discipline and the broader health team, and the need to overtly demonstrate effectiveness and safety. Regularly-evaluated service-delivery models which support non-medical prescribing by physiotherapists are further required, to demonstrate efficiency, timeliness, patient centredness and equity.
Of interest in relation to the professions extended scope into prescribing four studies were published last month. Is it time to become more involved in pharmacology?
- Effectiveness of Intra-Articular Hyaluronic Acid for Ankle Osteoarthritis Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- Subacromial Impingement Syndrome: Effectiveness of Pharmaceutical Interventions-Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Corticosteroid, or Other Injections: A Systematic Review
- Treatment With Botulinum Toxin Improves Upper-Extremity Function Post Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- Assessment of bleeding risk of interventional techniques: a best evidence synthesis of practice patterns and perioperative management of anticoagulant and antithrombotic therapy.
Read more about prescribing in the UK on Physiopedia