Dorsch S, Weeks K, King L, & Polman E (2019). In inpatient rehabilitation, large amounts of practice can occur without therapist supervision: An observational study. Journal of Physiotherapy, 65(1), 23-27.

This observational study is freely available online from the Journal of Physiotherapy, and describes a method of mapping what is occurring at any given time in a therapy gym. You could replicate this data collection in your health service.

Key findings: 15% of observations in physiotherapy gym involved family-supervised practice; 26% involved no supervision, with no adverse events. Overall 78% of patient’s engaged in active practice when observed in the gym.

The study includes a very useful table showing what strategies were used to enable semi-supervised practice, including education of patients and relatives, changing the expectations and clinical practice of staff, adapting the physical environment to maximise safety, and use of equipment to maximise safety and quality of practice.

What would your gym results look like? Time for a journal club discussion and local observations to find out.

If you read this study as part of a journal club, please let us know what you decide to do, and plans to change practice