Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do You Like Working Out?

Actually, a more fitting title is "Do you like excruciating pain?"

Physical therapy sucks. It's painful, difficult, and usually frustrating as you struggle to complete simple motions that were once effortless to you. It's no wonder that a lot of people would prefer to skip their physical therapy sessions.

Johns Hopkins Medical Center has developed a way to tell in advance if patients are going to be blowing off their physical therapy appointments. They did a whole survey and everything, naming it a Patient Activation Measure (calling it PAM for short, which may or may not be because they're huge fans of The Office), and using it to predict how involved the patients want to be with their recovery. You may not be surprised to hear that patients who felt that they were less responsible for their own health/well being/recovery were more likely to skip therapy.

The whole thing seems much more elaborate and complicated than just asking the patients, "Hey, are you gonna do that physical therapy or not?" but I guess that's why I'm not a doctor.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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