Setting personal training goals and measuring them: What is common for athletes is now finding its way into rehabilitation as well. VAMED, the leading private provider of rehabilitation services in Austria, has developed a new concept for this purpose that is based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (for short: ICF). The concept was first presented to the public at the annual meeting of the Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
At the orthopedic Rehabilitation Center Kitzbühel, the novel, so-called “personalized rehabilitation” is already being used. By the end of 2017, the concept will be gradually rolled out in all orthopedic, neurological and oncological rehabilitation centers of VAMED.
From anamnestic interview to interdisciplinary treatment meeting
Already upon admission to the rehabilitation center, each patient receives a comprehensive activity- and participation-oriented assessment for a maximally individual and effective course of the treatment. In the extensive admission examinations, using internationally standardized tests and questionnaires, the physicians, nurses, psychologists, dietologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists collect objectively measurable parameters to determine the patient’s overall condition and the functional and social impairments in his or her daily life.
Strength, mobility or mental state are measured. Under medical supervision and in cooperation with the patient, the rehabilitation team develops an individual therapy plan, depending on the number of points achieved. The patient himself/herself defines his/her personal goals together with the treatment team. Based on objectively determined measured values and the patient’s current progress, the treatment plan is also optimized in interdisciplinary therapy meetings during rehabilitation for optimum achievement of goals.
“Even if two persons are suffering from the same physical limitation or the same disease, due to different circumstances, the condition may impair one more than the other. With our ICF-based tests, we are now able to create a personalized and optimized rehabilitation program”, as Univ. Doz. Dr. Thomas Bochdansky, rehabilitation expert at VAMED, explains.
31 individual rehabilitation goals, 22 testing procedures
Overall, the rehabilitation center Kitzbühel has defined 31 ICF-based rehabilitation goals and 22 corresponding validated test methods. At the core of all the tests, there is the question “What does the patient need?” instead of asking what the patient cannot do. “In contrast to older methods, our ICF concept is not deficiency-oriented, but resource-oriented. This makes treatment planning not only more practical, but also more advanced in terms of its mindset”, said Bochdansky.
At the beginning and at the end of the usually three-week rehabilitation, as well as at intervals of three, six and twelve months afterwards, the patient repeats the assessment and can thus determine his/her progress objectively. If, for example, in the evaluation of the questionnaire of a patient with initial mental problems this patient’s value on the depression scale (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale – HADS) improves from more than 8 points to 7 or less, his/her mental state is “no longer clinically relevant”. Thus, the rehabilitation was successful.
VAMED International Medical Board to develop new personalized Precision Rehabilitation
VAMED operates 15 rehabilitation facilities in Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Overall, VAMED employs more than 650 physicians whose expertise and experience has linked them via the “VAMED International Medical Board”. From the insights gained, the medical experts of the various rehabilitation specialties develop new scientifically founded programs for the personalized precision rehabilitation of the future.