The Prevalence of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Education Within Physical Therapy Treatment Sessions

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Little is known about the provision of health promotion and disease prevention (HP/DP) education by physical therapists in the United States. This study was designed to quantify the amount and types of HP/DP education during physical therapy sessions. A checklist was developed to record HP/DP statements within six dimensions of health. Ninetysix physical therapy sessions were evaluated. An average of 2.44 HP/DP statements per session were observed. Statements within the “physical” category (average of 1.93 statements per session) far outweighed statements within the remaining five categories. The number of statements given did not depend on the therapists' level of degree, years of experience, duration of treatment session, type of physical therapy setting, or where patients were in the course of their rehabilitation. Physical therapists provide HP/DP education within typical treatment sessions but at a relatively low frequency. Information about HP/DP outside the “physical” realm is rarely addressed.

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