Order of Physiotherapists highlights the role of physiotherapy in palliative care

This Saturday, 14th October, marks the World Palliative Care DayThis is an internationally recognised date to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of access to Palliative Care.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that by 2060 the number of people with palliative needs in the world will have doubled.

In Portugal, only 30% of people with palliative needs have access to Palliative Care specialised.

Physiotherapy can help

Did you know that not all palliative patients are bedridden?

In fact, the WHO recommends living as active a life as possible until death.

To fulfil this recommendation, the Physiotherapy has emerged as an intervention of excellence in non-pharmacological symptom control and improving well-being and quality of life, right up until death. The main focus of Physiotherapist, in this context, is the promotion of autonomy and independence, with the function that exists at any given time.

Scientific evidence proves the benefits of the Physiotherapy in Palliative Care in the management of various symptoms such as reduced mobility, fatigue, pain, respiratory symptoms, anxiety and depression. We also know that physiotherapists actively contribute to a more meaningful and fulfilling end of life.

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Pedro Maciel Barbosa

Specialist physiotherapist at the Matosinhos Local Health Unit Sub-coordinator for Primary Health Care, Matosinhos Local Health Unit Visiting Assistant Professor at the Porto School of Health Member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Health - SNS Member of the General Council of the Order of Physiotherapists

Carlos Sand

Carlos Areia has been a physiotherapist since 2013, and has worked in various hospitals, clinics and clubs in both Portugal and the UK. He began his academic career at Oxford University in 2016, where he led a clinical trial comparing physiotherapy vs surgery in anterior cruciate injuries in 32 hospitals in England. In 2018 she moved to the neurosciences department, where she developed her own studies on remote monitoring of vital signs, which were implemented during the pandemic. Here he discovered his passion for data, and in 2022, he joined Digital Science as a Data Scientist. He completed his PhD earlier this year, and has more than 60 publications in journals such as The Lancet, BMJ, Cochrane, among others. He is also an honorary lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and a consultant in clinical research.

Eduardo José Brazete Carvalho Cruz

PhD in Physiotherapy from the University of Brighton, UK. Post-Doctorate in Epidemiology from the National School of Public Health at the New University of Lisbon.
Coordinator of the Studies and Planning Office of the Order of Physiotherapists. Coordinating Professor of the Physiotherapy Department of the School of Health of the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (ESS-IPS). President of the ESS-IPS Technical-Scientific Council. Coordinator of the Physiotherapy Department at ESS-IPS. Integrated Researcher at the Comprehensive Health Research Centre (CHRC) (a partnership between FCM-UNL, the National School of Public Health, the University of Évora, the Lisbon Institute of Global Mental Health and Santo Espírito Hospital, Terceira Island, Azores).

Sara Souto Miranda

Sara Souto Miranda has a bachelor's and master's degree in physiotherapy from the University of Aveiro, and a postgraduate qualification in adult respiratory physiotherapy from the same institution. In 2023 she completed her double doctorate in Rehabilitation Sciences/Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at the Universities of Aveiro and Maastricht (Netherlands) and is currently working as a technical-scientific advisor to the Studies and Planning Office (GEP) of the Order of Physiotherapists, and as a guest lecturer at the Piaget Institute in Vila Nova de Gaia. As a member of the Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation Laboratory at the University of Aveiro (Lab3R), she has carried out applied research in which she has assessed and treated patients with respiratory pathology, having taken part in 6 research projects. Throughout her career she has published 19 scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals with an impact factor, 1 book chapter and more than 50 abstracts in conference proceedings. She was a research volunteer at the Ciro rehabilitation centre (Centre for expertise in chronic organ failure) in the Netherlands, and is currently a member of the Guideline Methodology Network of European Respiratory Society. She was honoured by European Lung Foundation e European Respiratory Society for carrying out patient-centred research, by the Directorate General for Higher Education with a merit grant for his master's degree, and by the Ciro Centre with a grant to support research abroad.

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