Enhancing Pelvic Health: Optimizing the Services Provided by Primary Health Care Teams in Ontario by Integrating Physiotherapists
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The purpose of this review was threefold: (1) to outline the current landscape of service provision for two common pelvic floor disorders, urinary incontinence (UI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP); (2) to describe common pelvic floor dysfunctions (UI and POP) and the associated evidence-based, conservative care; and (3) to present the potential to integrate physiotherapists into inter-professional primary health care teams to optimize the provision of care for these disorders.
A literature review was undertaken and a case study was developed to describe evidence-informed conservative care for pelvic floor dysfunctions.
A variety of models exist to treat pelvic floor disorders. Physiotherapists and nurses are key care providers, and their scope and care provision overlaps. In Ontario specifically, both nurses and physiotherapists with additional postgraduate training in pelvic floor disorders are integrated into primary health care, but only to a very limited degree, and they are arguably well positioned to leverage their skills in their respective scopes of practice to optimize the provision of pelvic health care.
Physiotherapists and nurses are shown to be key providers of effective, conservative care to promote pelvic health. There is an opportunity to integrate these types of provider into primary care organizations in Ontario; this collaborative care could translate into improved outcomes for patients and the health care system at large.
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