New online course for physios to drive better care for patients

Published Date
Laura Burge
Information for professionals

Muscular Dystrophy UK’s new online course for physiotherapists will help drive better care for patients, which could ultimately improve access to new treatments.

The OPEN-TACT course is designed to give physiotherapists the skills and knowledge to offer patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Pompe disease, SMA and limb girdle muscular dystrophy the specialist support they need.

The free tool includes an in-depth guide to carrying out North Star ambulatory assessments, which are used to measure functional motor abilities in children and young adults with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In turn, this could lead to improved clinical care and breakthroughs in treatments.

The course also includes online resources to help physiotherapists manage people with other conditions.

OPEN-TACT is the latest addition to our portfolio of e-learning modules. These ensure professionals have the resources they need to support children and young adults who have a muscle-wasting condition, like 10-year-old Harry Barnley.

Harry has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and currently receives Translarna. His mum, Sue, says:

I know first-hand how important it is that children with rare and complex muscle-wasting conditions have access to specialist support. Anything that can help to improve access to new and emerging treatments and clinical trials should be welcomed. I would encourage all paediatric physiotherapists to take this course. It’s a great opportunity to upskill, and also ensures children like Harry will receive the best possible care.

Muscular Dystrophy UK wants as many professionals as possible to take the online module. Families can play an important part by speaking to their physiotherapist and encouraging them to sign up.

Bobby Ancil, Head of Outreach, Commissioning and Professional Development at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:

Our OPEN-TACT course benefits patients and physiotherapists alike. It gives physios the chance to upskill, and at the same time ensures children receive the high-quality support they need. By taking this course, physios can ensure they have the skills to record the data needed to drive quicker access to new treatments, while delivering best-practice care.

OPEN-TACT was funded by Muscular Dystrophy UK and developed with Newcastle-based Consultant Research Physiotherapist Dr Anna Mayhew, Genzyme, the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists, and software company Certus.

Dr Anna Mayhew said:

Physiotherapists have a vital role to play in the assessment and management of children and adults with a neuromuscular condition. This online module is a great resource, and I’d encourage professionals within the sector, especially in the community, to make full use of it to develop their knowledge.

  • Muscular Dystrophy UK also provides training courses for other professionals, including online modules for physiotherapists working with adults, nurses, education professionals, occupational therapists and GPs. The charity recommends that learners first take the introductory course on muscle-wasting conditions. All courses can be accessed here.
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