Finishing Physical Therapy – Why Do So Many People Struggle To Complete Their Physical Therapy Programs at Home?

 

One of the most important factors in the outcomes of medical patients is adherence to their prescribed therapies – whether that’s taking medications or doing physical therapy routines.

When patient adherence is low, it has a clear negative impact on the outcomes. People recover less effectively, have greater rates of rehospitalizations and complications, more adverse events, and higher annual healthcare costs. It also places a significant unnecessary burden on our healthcare systems and providers.

Within physical therapy treatment specifically, strong patient adherence enhances recovery, gets better results from interventions, and reduces the occurrence of chronic issues. Patients who fail to consistently follow their at-home therapy routines often extend the duration of their treatment, decrease its effectiveness, and have lower quality relationships with their therapists. The additional burden this creates can increase waiting times and undermine efficiency at physical therapy clinics.

Despite the importance of patient adherence, research reviews have found adherence rates to be as low as 35% for patients doing home exercises for physical therapy. As many as 50% of patients report not following their at-home exercise regimes at all or to only a minimal extent.

Switching from in-person therapy with one-on-one interaction with a therapist to following a routine by yourself at home is a big transition. It’s no wonder that so many people struggle with it.

The factors that affect adherence to at-home physical therapy programs include:

Self-efficacy

This is the patient’s belief in their ability to achieve a task, such as effectively carrying out an exercise on their own.

 

Threats and beliefs

A patient’s beliefs, experiences, and the information that they receive about the seriousness of their conditions or the risks they face either while doing their exercises or from not doing them.

 

Locus of control

This is the extent to which a patient feels themselves to be responsible for their own outcomes, or to be at the mercy of fate or random chance.

 

Pain

Pain experienced during exercise can be a significant barrier to adherence. Patients who experience pain are generally much less likely to stick with their routines.

 

Physical activity

Those who are physically active at baseline are more likely to stick to at-home exercise and rehab programs.

 

Psychological symptoms

Conditions such as anxiety can significantly impact a client’s ability to follow a routine.

 

Social support

A patient’s social network, from their friends and family to the connection that they have with their therapist, plays a strong role in their adherence.

 

Perceived barriers

Factors such as available time, work schedules, scheduling barriers and forgetting to exercise are all commonly cited as reasons to fall off a consistent therapy schedule.

By closing the gap between in-person and at-home physical therapy, the BioSleeve can improve every one of these variables.

The BioSleeve and the Digital Mirror app helps to remind a patient to do their exercises, keeps track of their consistency, and monitors real-time movement quality to help them do their exercises safely, comfortably, and effectively. It increases the patient’s sense of control and understanding and creates a constant connection with high-quality information being continuously updated and sent to the physical therapist, anywhere in the world.

This helps to increase a patient’s confidence and comfort in their ability to effectively carry out their routines and lowers the barriers to consistent at-home therapy.

By lowering the barriers to at-home therapy, the BioSleeve can dramatically improve patient adherence – in other words, help them have better outcomes with less stress and more confidence, while their therapists are able to work more efficiently and effectively.

The BioSleeve Can Help!

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