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6 procedures and tests that should be questioned: physiotherapists

6 procedures and tests that should be questioned: physiotherapists - Featured Image

The Choosing Wisely campaign will reach the next stage in mid-March with the release of their next wave of recommendations from Australian medical colleges, societies and associations.

The campaign kicked off in 2015, with the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists and The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia all releasing their recommendations of tests and treatments to question.

Related: MJA – Choosing wisely: the message, messenger and method

In the next few weeks, the next wave of colleges will release their recommendations, including a second list from the RACGP.

In anticipation of the announcement, the Australian Physiotherapy Association has developed a list of 6 recommendations that clinicians and consumers should question. It is the only allied health profession among twelve medical colleges and societies taking part in Choosing Wisely.

They say their recommendations are not prescriptive and should merely help start a conversation about what is appropriate and necessary in each individual situation.

Related: Richard King: The right choice

Their list is:

  1. Don’t request imaging for patients with non-specific low back pain and no indicators of a serious cause for low back pain.
  2. Don’t request imaging of the cervical spine in trauma patients, unless indicated by a validated decision rule.
  3. Don’t request imaging for acute ankle trauma unless indicated by the Ottawa Ankle Rules, (localized bone tenderness or inability to weight-bear as defined in the Rules).
  4. Don’t routinely use incentive spirometry after upper abdominal and cardiac surgery.
  5. Avoid using electrotherapy modalities in the management of patients with low back pain.
  6. Don’t provide ongoing manual therapy for patients with adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder.

The six recommendations were collated from a member survey with around 2800 responses, which was then examined by an expert panel.

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