Aquatic therapy is not standardly provided for palliative patients;
A hydrotherapy pool provides a warm supportive environment for painful deconditioned bodies during or after medical treatment;
Provides an opportunity to move, strengthen, relax and participate with significant effect on emotional well–being;
Extends patient opportunities to therapies outside medical treatment, putting patients back in control.
Aims To evaluate the provision of aquatic therapy (therapist-led hydrotherapy) for palliative patients by comparing objective measures and goals pre- and post- treatment
Provide therapist–led aquatic therapy;
Nurture and empower patients to become independent pool users.
Method Assess and work with palliative adult patients delivering aquatic therapy in 1:1 or group settings.
Identify patient goals, physical baseline of ability including a range of standardised physical objective measures, patient perception of issues and well–being;
1:1 water–based assessment explores;
patient ability to exercise in water
trial personalised exercises and develop own written programme
<6 further sessions of aquatic therapy 1:1, group or combination;
Patient feedback questionnaire completed.
Results Data collected from all patients who completed a course of aquatic therapy, average duration two months.
100% improved physical function;
83% improved emotional well–being;
92% continued as independent pool users.
Conclusion Aquatic therapy can have a very positive, significant effect for patients affecting their physical function, willingness and motivation for exercise through their own perception of improvement, and emotional well-being. Relatively simple, short periods of interaction by a therapist can have meaningful long-term benefits for palliative adult patients for both physical outcomes and emotional well-being.
Currently no standardised use of aquatic therapy study demonstrates very positive outcomes for palliative patients including their perception, improved physical changes and function;
Emphasis to empower patients with independent pool sessions in addition to attending a therapist–led session;
Patients feel they are doing something to help themselves, which they find rewarding and motivating.
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