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Antea Worldwide Palliative Care Conference

Rome, 12-14 November 2008


Presenting author Physiotherapy Education in Palliative Care:
Rainer Simader
Rainer Simader
Email: It is evident that terminally ill and dying patients describe their (reduced) functional capabilities
and body condition as the most important indicators for their quality of life (QOL). It is evident
Phone as well that Physiotherapy (PT) can improve among others independence, mobility, strength,
breathlessness, nausea, oedema, fatique and exhaustion, depression, anxiety and QOL. So PT is a
science dealing with important needs of Palliative Care (PC) – patients especially because it aims
Mobile phone on levels of activity and participation and the skills are symptom management and analyzing and
improvement of activities of daily living. Beside this there is the quite important psycho – social
aspect of PT: professional physical = emotional contact, professional movement is emotional
movement, intimity and time for the patients.
Please underline the most Unfortunately neither many PTs nor other PC professionals or patients know enough about
appropriate category for your capabilities of PT in PC. That is the reason why PT plays only a minor role in the PC landscape
abstract and why both – PTs and other PC professionals - must be trained on when and how PT should be
offered to their patients.
• Pain and other symptoms
It is the PTs´ responsibility to train and educate themselves and their students. Based on a
• Palliative care for cancer patients curriculum we wrote in 2006/07 the German and Austrian working groups “Physiotherapy in
• Palliative care for non cancer Palliative Care” organize 1 week post graduate trainings (40 – 45 lessons) for PTs in Germany
patients and Austria. The main goal of these courses is to improve the participants´ multidisprofessional
• Paediatric palliative care
knowledge. They get information and skills on typical PC diagnosis and medical treatment,
nursing, nutrition, ethics, bereavement, communication, history and development of PC and – of
• Palliative care for the elderly
course – physiotherapy. The lectureres are all specialists in their field. In the meantime 6 courses
• The actors of palliative care
were held and over 100 PTs participated and the feedback of them as well as of lecturers was
• Latest on drugs exclusively positive.
• Pain Meanwhile in the Austrian undergratuate education about 50% of all PT academies and
universities of aplied science offer 10 to 20 lesson trainings to their students.
• Illness and suffering through It is just partly up to us to educate other professional groups. Concerning this topic the Austrian
media and German working groups started with public relations on PT capabilities in PC. We are ready
to educate and we are ready to be invited.
• Marginalisation and social stigma
at the end of life
• Palliative care advocacy projects

• Prognosis and diagnosis
communication in
different cultures
• Communication between doctor-
patient and patient-
• Religions and cultures versus
suffering, death and
Session: Rehabilitation in palliative care
• Public institution in the world: Chair: Claudio Pellegrini
palliative care policies
and law
• Palliative care: from villages to
• Space, light and gardens for the
terminally ill patient
• End-of-life ethics
• Complementary therapies
• Education, training and research
• Fund-raising and no-profit
• Bereavement support
• Volunteering in palliative care
• Rehabilitation in palliative care
• Palliative care quality indicators