As part of the neurologic physical therapy residency program, a community project is conducted during the second half of the year to apply the principles and expertise of residency outside of the clinic setting. Michael Castillo and I decided to accept an opportunity from one of our mentors, Ms. Cheryl Pierson, to construct a comprehensive educational training program for the staff of the Hong Fook adult day health center. We did not immediately imagine the impact of such an endeavor.
For a period of 3 months, we worked together to present an evidenced-based educational and hands-on training program to augment the current program at Hong Fook adult day program. Special attention was given to adapt the multi-cultural values of the center’s clients to the program design. Staff and caregiver training were reinforced through individualized consultation with regularly scheduled office hours over this time period. Outcome measures pre and post training included the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, 10 meter walk test (10MWT), Five times sit-to-stand and modified Falls Efficacy Scale (mFES). These were conducted on a sample of convenience of twenty (20) adult day health care clients prior to the education sessions and at 3 and 6 month intervals to determine the effect of the training classes on the clients’ functional mobility, fall risk, and self-efficacy. We found that the clients improved their physical performance in all outcome measurements with the greatest change in the 10 MWT. Overall, the majority of clients improved their physical performance to the level of community ambulators, thus potentially reducing their fall risk and reflecting a positive influence of the training program on their functional capacity.
Our community project was summarized in a scientific poster that we were privileged in presenting at the California Physical Therapy Association Conference in Oakland, CA. The response was enthusiastic and encouraging. We are already looking forward to presenting the data to our peers on the national stage in the upcoming APTA combined sections meeting next year in Indianapolis, IN.
We are proud to have reached this milestone in our career. It was a fitting culmination to a residency marked by skill enhancement, intellectual learning and personal triumphs. We are grateful to the program and our mentors for encouraging us to develop our professional potential in such a worthwhile endeavor.