Interested in Physiotherapy
What is Physiotherapy ?
The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) defines Physical therapy as “services provided by physical therapists to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan.
The terms “physical therapy” – “physiotherapy,” – “physical therapist” and “physiotherapist,” are synonymous.
The service is provided in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by ageing, injury, pain, diseases, disorders, conditions or environmental factors and with the understanding that functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy”.
Physical therapy encompasses the relationship between the practitioner, patients/clients and their families, other health professionals, care givers and ultimately communities. The physical therapist uses knowledge and skills unique to physical therapists to examine and assess, diagnose, set goals and intervene so to enhance functional capacities and movement potential in order to maximize quality of life and well-being.
Physical therapists engage in spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, habilitation and rehabilitation focusing on physical, psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing.
More information is available in the following Policy statement of WCPT related to physical.
According to the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT), the scope of physical therapist practice is not limited to direct patient/client care, but also includes:
- Public health strategies
- Advocating for patients/clients and for health
- Supervising and delegating to others
- Developing and implementing health policy at the local, national and international levels
Physical therapists operate as independent practitioners, as well as members of health service provider teams, and are subject to the ethical principles of WCPT.
In some countries, they are able to act as first contact practitioners, and patients/clients may seek direct services without referral from another health professional. This is not yet the case in Lebanon.
The education and clinical practice of physical therapy varies according to the social, economic, cultural and political contexts. Nevertheless, the first professional qualification obtained in any country, represents the completion of a curriculum that qualifies the physical therapist to use the professional title and to practice as an independent professional.
Physical therapy education programs in Lebanon are available at many universities. The mandatory curriculum for entry-level professional practice is the Bachelor’s Degree required for obtaining licensure. The length of this program is typically 4 years. Clinical experience or trainings constitute an important part of the professional education program.
Many Professional Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) and Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MSPT) degrees are also offered to students according to universities’ course offerings. Recently the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree has been launched by some universities.
Universities’ websites present a comprehensive description of their programs and a detailed list of documents for enrollment.
Clinical specialization in physical therapy aims to respond to the needs of patients in a specific area where knowledge, skills, and experience exceed the ones developed in the entry-level physical therapy curricula.
In 2016, the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties approved the following 9 areas of specialization:
- Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy 1981
- Clinical Electrophysiologic Physical Therapy 1982
- Geriatric Physical Therapy 1989
- Neurologic Physical Therapy 1982
- Orthopedic Physical Therapy 1981
- Pediatric Physical Therapy 1981
- Sports Physical Therapy 1981 2
- Women’s Health Physical Therapy 2006
- Oncologic Physical Therapy 2016
The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties works on developing new specialty areas to be submitted to the APTA House of Delegates for approval.
On a national basis, specializations are not yet formally established.
Therefore, more information is available in the following APTA policy.