The Physical Therapist’s Role in Health and Wellness

presented by Christina Prevett

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With the aging population, the public healthcare system faces an impending healthcare crisis. To mitigate these future costs, there is a need to evaluate the use of proactive strategies to prevent the onset and progression of chronic conditions to promote healthy living for all age categories but especially in relation to healthy aging. The adoption of healthy lifestyle practices, including healthy diet, physical activity, exercise, stress management, effective sleep, and smoking cessation, has been shown to improve morbidity and mortality and delay or prevent the onset of chronic conditions. This course reviews health promotion counseling and appropriate prescription of activity and exercise as two such interventions aimed at prevention of disability and are considered well within the physiotherapy scope of practice. Physical therapists, with their extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and movement are in a prime position provide these wellness and prevention services.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Christina Prevett, MScPT, CSCS, PhD(c)

    Christina is a Registered Physiotherapist in Ontario Canada receiving Masters of Physiotherapy at McMaster University in 2013. After graduation, she gained experience working in both the public and private sectors in outpatient orthopaedics focusing on exercise and soft tissue based therapies for the relief of muscle aches and pains. She is a believer in the strength of exercise for rehabilitation, especially with older adults. This passion led her to begin her PhD in 2015 in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Ada Tang. Her doctoral studies look at the utilization of strength training principles for healthy aging and prevention of disability. She is the co-owner of STAVE OFF Physiotherapy & Exercise Facility which focuses on rehab but also health and wellness for persons at any age.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Health, Wellness and Prevention: What Do We Mean?

    1. Health, Wellness and Prevention: What Do We Mean?

    Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention refer to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding the development of chronic disease or halting the progression of chronic disease once it has been established. The use of exercise and physical activity for prevention of disability and improvement of functional outcomes is well-established in the literature across a wide range of chronic conditions, however many persons are not meeting the recommended physical activity guidelines.

  2. Health and Wellness, and the Physiotherapy Scope of Practice

    2. Health and Wellness, and the Physiotherapy Scope of Practice

    High BMI and obesity are on the rise in North America and these conditions place individuals at increased risk for various medical conditions. Despite this risk, 59% of health professionals wait until their patient brings up weight before discussing weight loss management techniques. This chapter will explore how to provide health promotion counseling, when to provide it, and ways to incorporate general physical activity prescription in combination with therapeutic exercise.

  3. Fields of Grey: The Business Model of Physical Therapy in Prevention

    3. Fields of Grey: The Business Model of Physical Therapy in Prevention

    Many physical therapists are interested in getting involved in the health and wellness space but specific business practices have not been clearly delineated. Knowing the current funding opportunities and models related to the provision of health and wellness services will allow physiotherapists to be more confident in their role in this space. This chapter will look at current examples of physiotherapists in the prevention space and address other growth opportunities for the profession to advocate for.