Around the world in 80 pages


Numerous countries are represented among the authors who have contributed to the April issue of Journal of Physiotherapy.

Embarking with a systematic review from the Netherlands, Niek Koenders and colleagues investigate multiple interventions to increase the amount of physical activity done by hospital inpatients and thereby reduce any deterioration in functional mobility.

Their review generates six key recommendations for clinical practice.

Travelling north to Denmark, David Høyrup Christiansen and Jakob Hjorth provide a three-arm randomised trial involving over 200 participants with subacromial pain.

With excellent follow-up over six months, this trial clearly shows that people with subacromial pain can anticipate similar benefits from an exercise rehabilitation regimen, regardless of whether it is delivered as individually supervised exercise, in a group-based exercise format, or as a home-based exercise rehabilitation program.

The home exercise intervention was associated with the lowest costs.

A whistle-stop tour of the British Isles provides the opportunity to appraise two randomised trials from England (which examine screening for fall risk and a video intervention to increase uptake of pulmonary rehabilitation) and one from Ireland (which examines individualised cognitive functional therapy for chronic low back pain).

Crossing the Atlantic to Brazil, Hugo Jário Almeida Silva and colleagues provide very robust evidence that—even with two months of treatment—dry cupping does not improve outcomes for people with low back pain.

A little further south, Lucas Nascimento and colleagues’ systematic review shows that treadmill training improves the walking speed and distance of people who can walk after stroke.

The effect of treadmill walking is the same as or better than the effect of overground walking training in this regard.

From Australia, Robyn Brennen and colleagues contribute an economic analysis of various models for delivery of pelvic floor muscle training during and after pregnancy.

During pregnancy, group-based pelvic floor muscle training is more efficient than individually supervised pelvic floor muscle training to prevent urinary incontinence if at least five women attend and the service charges $10 per person.

Postnatal individually supervised pelvic floor muscle training to treat urinary incontinence has the added benefit of preventing and treating faecal incontinence.

A brief layover in the Middle East permits the chance to appraise one more randomised trial, this one showing that the addition of robotics with virtual gaming to rehabilitation for children with hand burns improves active finger range of movement, hand grip strength and function. 

The global circumnavigation is completed with an Invited Topical Review on physiotherapy management of incontinence in men.

Dutch-born author Irmina Nahon (now based at the University of Canberra) covers the prevalence, diagnosis, assessment and treatments for both urinary and faecal incontinence.

One fascinating element of the review is the difference in the mechanisms by which incontinence occurs in men and women.

Understanding this difference helps to explain another intriguing element of the review: the different effect observed with different instructions about which muscles to focus on during pelvic floor muscle training.

Appropriately for such a cosmopolitan issue, one of the editorials in the April issue addresses the need to recognise race and ethnicity in research.

The editorial board of the Journal of Physiotherapy encourages submitting authors to specify the race/ethnicity of the participants when reporting original clinical research studies.

>> Click here to read these and other papers from the latest and past issues.

Clinical Associate Professor Mark Elkins, APAM, is the scientific editor of Journal of Physiotherapy. Follow him on Twitter @JOP_Editor and follow Journal of Physiotherapy @JPhysiother.


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