Physiotherapists in Yemen are using Physiopedia as a framework for their continuing professional development to support them in improving management for children with cerebral palsy across the country.
Managing children with cerebral palsy demands specialised skills and dedicated centres for appropriate rehabilitation services. However, in Yemen, parents report difficulties accessing rehabilitation services due to the high costs of transportation, lodging and food, making it challenging to maintain regular physiotherapy appointments. There is also an increasing number of people seeking physiotherapy services in Yemen, leading to an overworked rehabilitation workforce. This, combined with a lack of physiotherapists specialised in treating cerebral palsy, results in families struggling to receive proper care for their loved ones who have cerebral palsy.
To address this challenge, the Yemeni Physical Therapy Association (YPTA), with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross, organised a continuing professional development (CPD) course for 13 physiotherapists across the country. The training was organised into two parts: theory and practical. For the theory component of the training, participants completed the Managing Children with Cerebral Palsy course on Physiopedia Plus (Plus). This was followed by an in-person practical session where participants put their new knowledge into practice through working with individuals with cerebral palsy and their families. This session was a great opportunity to discuss their learnings, clinical practices and experiences, all with a focus on the Yemen context and how they might improve services in Yemen.
This hybrid learning experience was highly enriching and impactful for training participants. The training not only improved understanding of the importance of comprehensive interdisciplinary management of cerebral palsy but also provided discussion of clinical reasoning and innovation to improve the quality of life of people with cerebral palsy in Yemen. One participant reported that in the 13 years of working at a specialist rehabilitation centre this was the first well organised training that they had received on cerebral palsy. Others reported improved critical thinking skills in setting functional goals during the treatment session as well as improved awareness of collaborating with parents to ensure treatment carryover in the home environment.
Physiopedia plays a crucial role in Yemen, where it is used in various ways. One such example is a rehabilitation centre in the northern region of the country that used Physiopedia an integral part of its CPD programme. Rehabilitation professionals are encouraged to use the platform to access the latest information. During their weekly meetings, case studies are presented and discussed, making Physiopedia a vital reference platform that facilitates staff training, knowledge sharing and skill enhancement. This means that if they meet a difficult case in practice, they refer to Physiopedia to find more information to understand the condition better.
Members of the YPTA also express their gratitude to Physiopedia for providing access to Plus online courses; this has allowed them to learn from high-quality professional development resources that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to and has greatly enhanced the professional development opportunities for Yemen Physiotherapists through the YPTA.
It’s important to acknowledge that a physiotherapist and university faculty member from Yemen has recently joined the Physiopedia volunteer team. We are excited to have him on board and look forward to discussing how students can be encouraged to use the Physiopedia platform to enhance their studies.
We encourage rehabilitation professionals from all over the world to make use of these high-quality, evidence-based resources!