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Extending Adherence

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

Adherence typically declines when an individual's episode of care ends. It needn't, if you can remove the roadblocks.

Patrice Hazan PT, DPT, MA, calls it "the revolving door of physical therapy."

"Our patients successfully complete individual physical therapy.

The episode of care ends with a home exercise program and recommendations for community resources to tap. But they don't properly adhere, and 6 months later they're back for more physical therapy," she recounts. "I've heard other PTs use the same term to describe this phenomenon."

It's hard enough for physical therapists (PTs) to get patients to faithfully adhere to the plan of care while they're still receiving physical therapist services. To expect them to continue performing their exercises after their physical therapy treatment ends might seem to be a hope too wild, a bridge too far.

Hazan, founder and chief executive officer of GroupHab in Simpsonville, South Carolina, claims that it's not—at least for 1 segment of former patients. Her facility offers an array of PT-designed and -supervised group-exercise classes to senior citizens and people with conditions such as cerebral palsy and Parkinson disease.

It's quickly built a track record in her community as a feel-good, mutually supportive success—one that Hazan, a board-certified clinical specialist in geriatric physical therapy, believes is replicable with seniors and other patient populations nationwide.

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