Issues

Outcome Measures

The #1 priority in CPA's Strategic Plan is to "lead the development of outcome measurement systems to improve practice and influence health care decision-makers across Canada."    

Outcome measures provide a means to define treatment goals and track patient progress. Physiotherapists have been using them for many years to great effect. In fact, physiotherapists lead in the use of outcome measures across Canada. But we're not sharing them, and that means the collective data isn't being maximized.

The Value of Physiotherapy

As pressure to limit the growth in overall health care costs increases, it is essential to have a good understanding of the value provided by specific health care services.

The Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) contracted two health economists to provide an evidence-based and relevant valuation of physiotherapy across 13 issues. Information from their report has been condensed to a series of information sheets that support the value of physiotherapy.

Health Care for First Nations, Inuit & Metis

Aboriginal peoples in Canada face unique health challenges and have poorer health outcomes than non-Aboriginal persons. Although the Aboriginal population is on average younger than the general population, there is a higher prevalence of injury, illness and chronic disease.

The Canadian Physiotherapy Association acknowledges the influence of the broader determinants of health on Aboriginal peoples in Canada at both the individual and population level, from socioeconomic status and migration to urban centres to the longer term impact of colonization and self-determination.

Pain Management and the Opioid Crisis

Canada is the second-largest per capita user of prescription opioids worldwide. 

Opioids only mask pain and are most effective for patients on bed rest, but do little to help them return to normal activities without pain.

With provincial health-care systems spending $93-million to combat addiction to painkillers and costs of substance abuse prevention escalating, doctors and policy-makers need to recognize there is a better way to manage pain. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended physiotherapy as an alternative for people with chronic pain who would otherwise seek prescription.

We need to provide evidence-based care for Canadians and eliminate inappropriate treatment and spending. The goal should be to treat the patient, not just prescribe a drug.