Can specially trained physiotherapists improve the care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis? A randomized health care trial.
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OBJECTIVE: To examine the influence of specially trained physical therapists (PT) on patterns and outcome of care, relating to inflammatory disease status as measured by disease outcomes. METHODS: Fifty-four patients were allocated at random to specially trained PT, and to traditional PT. Outcomes were measured at baseline and at 4 months by independent assessors. RESULTS: There was no statistically significant or clinically important difference in outcome between the 2 groups. The advice of specially trained PT significantly improved compliance with salicylates. CONCLUSION: The effectiveness of this therapy was not demonstrated, likely due to incomplete compliance along the therapeutic chain, beginning with the PT's report, through a variety of possible responses, and ending with patient outcome.
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