Research, quality improvement and implementation approaches

Does Patients' Perception of Improvement following a Pain Management Programme, Match Reported Minimally Clinically Important Differences?

Clinical outcomes for patients attending a pain management programme were evaluated to determine whether patients who rated an improvement on a Global Impression of Change Score, achieved mean changes in BPI that were consistent with 'acceptable' change, and to determine mean changes on other outcomes in this population. It is suggested that a mean change of 2.09 in pain interference, as measured by the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), could be considered acceptable to patients. Currently data is unavailable for changes in pain acceptance.

Collaborative cross-agency service delivery to address public health issues within an MSK setting: evaluation of ´Healthy Mind, Health Body´

Patients accessing Physiotherapy in Blackburn demonstrate multiple co-morbidities, physical and biopsychosocial issues. This unique, cost-effective, collaborative service redesign addresses the specific co-existing health issues and behaviours associated with MSK conditions in Blackburn and offers a cost-effective, high quality solution to empower and support the MSK population to better manage their own health and well-being in alignment with Public Health England priorities.

Service evaluation of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament Deficient Induction Clinic (ACLD) and Rehabilitation Class.

Historically, at GSTFT, patients with ACL pathology have been managed in weekly exercise classes. Anecdotally, Physiotherapists felt that they were unable to effectively manage both the post-operative and ACL deficient (ACLD) populations due to high class numbers. After an internal service evaluation and audit, a unique ACLD pathway was established to separate the ACLD population, and better manage both ACL cohorts. This included a specific fortnightly ACLD Induction Clinic and ACLD rehabilitation class.

This data collection aimed to:

  • Evaluate the demand for the ACLD pathway, including the new ACLD rehabilitation class, and analyse patient demographics
  • Ensure the ACLD pathway is utilised correctly, by monitoring patients being referred
  • Start analyzing the data and trends of patient attendance and onward management in the ACLD rehabilitation class and begin early root cause analysis.
  • Commence a systematic review around the quality of pre-operative physiotherapy intervention and how this effects outcomes post-operatively, in order to guide the temporality and content of our ACLD rehabilitation class.

Reducing emergency admissions for primary constipation: a pilot study to cut costs in an acute hospital trust.

Constipation is a common condition that impacts quality of life, often causing psychological distress and incurring considerable healthcare costs in terms of unnecessary emergency admissions due to poor management.

Aintree University Hospital offers one of the only Specialist Physiotherapy led healthy bowel clinics (HBC) in the UK that assess, treat and manage patients presenting with functional bowel problems, including constipation. Patients referred into the service are directed straight to HBC and the majority will never see a medic. The service is run solely by Physiotherapists. We can refer for appropriate tests (transit marker studies, defecating proctograms, anorectal physiology and various blood tests). We independently interpret results and decide on appropriate treatment/management. Our service offers specialist assessment, medication management, lifestyle advice, pelvic floor re-education, Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation, rectal irrigation and cognitive behavioural therapy. The majority of our patients are managed conservatively as surgery is rarely an option.

From December 2013 to November 2014, Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data showed that 301 patients were admitted to Aintree University Hospital with a primary diagnosis of constipation, 216 of these through the Accident and Emergency Department (AED), with an average length of stay of 3.3 days. The HBC Physiotherapists recognised that there should be a more cost-effective, efficient way to manage these patients and proposed a new pathway. The pathway allows patients to manage their symptoms in their own home with support from specialist Physiotherapists, enhancing patient dignity. Assessment identified 5 patients with potential red flag symptoms and allowed appropriate onward referral.

Effects of a Multi-Disciplinary Physical and Psychological Programme on Kinesiophobia, Self-Efficacy and Functionality in Persistent Low Back Pain Service Users

Persistent Low Back Pain (PLBP) is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Disability and costs attributed to PLBP are projected to increase in coming decades (Hartvigsen et al, 2018). Research has now established that for people with PLBP, their cognitions and coping mechanisms play a bigger role in the progression from acute to persistent pain than physical features (Wertli et al, 2014). Clinical guidance (NICE, 2016) recommends that service users (SUs) who are not responding to routine management or have significant psychosocial obstacles to recovery, should be considered for a combined physical and psychological programme (CPPP). However, there are no clear current guidelines on the best format for a CPPP. The Back in Action (BiA) programme was introduced to address the needs of these SUs. This service evaluation aims to assess the effectiveness of the BiA 58 hour multi-disciplinary CPPP format on SUs pain related cognitions and function.

 

Spinal Triage by Extended Scope Physiotherapists in a diagnostic interface clinic: Spinal unit conversion rates from a 12-month service evaluation.

The Back and Neck Service (BaNS) was established in Suffolk (2003) as an interface clinic with the aim of reducing unnecessary referrals into the secondary care Spinal unit for surgical opinion. Since this time the service has expanded and now consists of six Extended Scope Physiotherapists (ESP) across the East (BaNS-East) and West (BaNS-West) localities. Importantly, the BaNS is embedded within a wider spinal pathway spanning both primary and secondary care which allows timely self-referral to musculoskeletal physiotherapy via a Single Point of Access (SPOA) portal. Patients with radiating symptoms failing to improve at 6-weeks, or those with axial symptoms that have failed appropriate management can be referred into the BaNS by their treating physiotherapist or via their General Practitioner. Following assessment and, where indicated, investigation(s), suitable cases are reviewed with a spinal consultant at a weekly meeting where appropriate patients can be directly referred into the secondary care spinal unit. The purpose of this service evaluation was to establish the effectiveness of the BaNS in triaging patients with axial and/or radiating symptoms into secondary care and to report the conversion rate to surgically led interventions (nerve root block injections & surgery). A secondary aim was to establish patient satisfaction with the service.

Effectiveness and optimal dosage of resistance training for chronic neck pain: a systematic review with a qualitative synthesis and meta-analysis

Ranked 4th for global disability neck pain is experienced by up to 50% of the population annually and is more common than low back pain in office-based workers. Clinical guidelines recommend multimodal physiotherapy that includes resistance training exercise (RET) for the neck and shoulders. Although RET programmes exist with different objective and physical outcomes (e.g. cervical isometrics, craniocervical flexor retraining etc.) no evidence synthesis has compared their effectiveness. Equally, despite being highly cited the dosage (repetitions, frequency, load) of RET varies considerably between studies. The aim of this study is 

1) to evaluate the effectiveness of RET in chronic non-specific neck pain (CNSNP)

2) to determine an optimal dosage.

Developing a Physiotherapy Foot Surgery Service and Patient Pathway

The foot surgery service was expanded in order to undertake more complex foot surgeries, this required an increase in physiotherapy input. Adaptations were made to our provision of physiotherapy to accommodate patients undergoing complex foot surgeries, patients with multiple co-morbidities and patients with complex social needs. This incorporated developing a robust protocol-led pathway including pre-op education and assessment with the aims of increasing attendance of our pre-op assessments “Foot School” and reducing length of stay (LOS).

An audit of injuries within a cohort of elite level professional speedway riders during the competitive season 2018-19

To identify ways to improve the performance, and the health and well-being, of speedway riders.

Due to a lack of quality evidence-base to underpin professional practice in this field, to establish the incidence, nature and severity of injuries affecting speedway riders.

To highlight implications for practice and/or recommendations that can be used to drive improvements in practice.

To identify further areas for future investigation.

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