Mind your Ps and Qs #physiotalk Mon 22nd Nov

The next #physiotalk tweetchat is on Monday 22nd November at 8pm GMT. If you are not sure how to tweetchat then take a look at our information pages that help you with how to chat!

The topic on Monday 22nd November is all about how we use language in physiotherapy – and more specifically, if it is understood! The prompt for this came when reading a recent research article ‘Talking about walking: lack of shared understanding of common mobility terms among different healthcare professional groups’ In the paper the authors asked different professional groups about their understanding of some very common physiotherapy terms – stand by assistance and supervision when walking. Their finding was that when asked if stand by assistance means the same as supervision, 71% of doctors, 35% of nurses and 14% of therapists said yes. What do you think?

The 2021 paper from Ireland was looking at the same phenomenon as work from 2011 in Australia which prompted the development of standardised mobility terminology in New South Wales published in 2018.

See the source image

So – why does it matter? Well of course if you recommend a specific level of walking assistance, and this is misunderstood by other healthcare professionals working with the patient, then this could either be unsafe, or conversely, be detrimental to rehabilitation progression. This misunderstanding can be replicated over multiple scenarios in physiotherapy potentially leading to other clinical errors.

This level of misunderstanding can be compounded when abbreviations are factored into the equation: do you use SOB, SOOB, SOBOE, SOOBE and what on earth do they mean and how easily could they be misunderstood?! The CSP has guidance around this – but in practice is it followed?

The tweetchat on Monday will explore what you think about the use of standardised terminology, whether you use a standardised list of terms and your use of abbreviations in practice.

Chat questions

Do you need to pass on information to other health care professionals?

Are you certain that your information would be understood by other professionals?

Do you use abbreviations in practice and do you think anyone reading them would understand them?

Do you think members of your MDT understand your recommendations?

Do you check that other members of your team and wider MDT understand your use of terminology?

Do you have any standardised lists of terminology to assist other health professionals locally

Missed the chat?

Catch up with the transcript

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