Unfortunately, because no treatment has eliminated rheumatic diseases, the rheumatology healthcare team (including physical and occupational therapists) must continue to assist patients in managing their diseases.
Though the years, the frequency and duration of therapy visits have lessened notably, but most content of those visits has changed little. Educating patients about their disease and how to care for themselves in a physically demanding world remains the core mission of all rehabilitation treatments.
Today, as in previous years, therapists help people with rheumatic diseases gain greater levels of functional independence. Together, occupational and physical therapists account for 15% of the ARHP membership, which is the second largest group of members, behind RNs. We proudly make up an important part of the rheumatology healthcare team and will remain in this role for another thirty years, or until cures are found. We will continue to expand our knowledge base and grow our professional association, ensuring additional advances for our patients.
Kim Kimpton is president of the ARHP and a physical therapist at HealthMark in Denver. Contact her via e-mail at email@example.com.