Title

Diagnosing pathology to decide the appropriateness of physical therapy: what’s our role?

ORCiD

Davenport: 0000-0001-5772-7727

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy

ISSN

0190-6911

Volume

36

Issue

1

DOI

10.2519/jospt.2006.0101

First Page

1

Last Page

2

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Abstract

The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice affirms that physical therapists should determine the appropriateness of physical therapy to address a patient's disablement. The decision facing all therapists—during the initial evaluation and every subsequent clinic visit—is whether to treat the patient, refer the patient, or initiate both treatment and referral. This decision is based on whether the patient's clinical presentation is consistent with symptoms and signs of pathology that seem amenable to physical therapy. At minimum, deciding the appropriateness of physical therapy takes confirmation of the pathology suggested in a physician's referral diagnosis, if present. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that more extensive questioning, clinical testing, and referral to other specialists frequently are needed.