We train physical therapists and rural health workers in evidence-based therapy approaches, to improve services and involve caregivers in ongoing therapy.
In developing countries there is an average of one physical therapist per 10,000 people.
These therapists are concentrated in urban areas and structure their therapy in short, ongoing sessions. Because this type of therapy requires frequent travel and time off from work, it’s difficult for working families to commit to long-term care. Parents of children with disabilities want the best for their children, but they need therapy that is focused on function and works with their lifestyle. The training provided by physical therapists working with UCP Wheels for Humanity emphasizes the use of evidence-based medicine to provide the therapists with the most efficient and effective methods of rehabilitation. Various modes of delivery are taught, including the use of group classes and short term, intensive therapy sessions. Therapy goals are based on the patient and his or her family’s goals.
Key components of the training are the use of and patient/family education. Research has shown that skill acquisition occurs when a skill is practiced repeatedly in the environment in which the person lives. Educating the patient and his or her family and teaching them functionally-oriented home exercise program is the best way for a patient to develop independence. When patients and their families are involved and invested in the therapy program, they take an active role in their child’s health and progress. Often, this approach can result in the the number of visits being reduced, saving travel costs and time spent away from work.