Pharmacology for Physiotherapists
Full course description
This pharmacology course for physiotherapists aims at enabling students to gain knowledge on drug use and molecular drug actions that are necessary for optimal consultation and treatment of patients taking (self)-medication to cure, alleviate, or prevent complaints related to their medical problem. The course will focus on (self)- medications that are most-frequently observed in physiotherapy practice and may have important consequences for diagnosis and treatment by the physiotherapist. Special attention is paid to problems reported by elderly persons. Currently the Netherlands has 3 million inhabitants above the age of 65. About 1/3 of this group presents with multi-morbidity and is treated with 5 drugs or more. Due to increasing numbers of elderly patients, polypharmacy is rising. Consequently the risk of adverse drug-drug interactions and negative effects on the well-being of the ageing population increases too. The physiotherapist might be treating patients from this group to alleviate various pulmonary, musculo-skeletal or cardio-metabolic problems or might be giving advice to prevent such problems. In these settings it is mandatory to understand how drug-actions can interfere with the intended treatment outcomes. At the end of the course, the student should have the following competences in the following domains (see learning goals).
Knowledge and understanding of:
- Basic pharmacological principles related to pharmacodynamics (what does the drug do to the body) and pharmacokinetics (what does the body do to the drug).
- The actions of major drug classes prescribed by medical professionals to patients who visit the physiotherapist.
- The actions or consequences of nutritional ingredients, self-medication or over the counter medicines that are frequently taken by patients who visit the physiotherapist.
- Drug-drug or drug-food interactions with major consequences
Applying knowledge and understandingThe student is able to:
- Recognize and interpret physical symptoms or behaviour of patients that can be a consequence of drug actions (both negative and positive)
- Reason how (self)medication may positively or negative influence treatment interventions installed by the physiotherapist
- Make optimal use of digital sources or databases that are set up to provide professionals as well as patients with relevant information on drug actions and drug interactions.
Making judgmentsThe student is able to:
- Identify serious (side)-effects of drug treatment that need direct and additional consultation by a medical professional (‘red flags’)
- Critically assess the validity and utility of drug information that is presented by patients, medical doctors, industry or public sources.
CommunicationThe student is able to:
- Inform patients on how (self)medication may positively or negative influence treatment interventions provided by the physiotherapist
- Adequately inform medical specialists on potential ‘red flags’ related to (self)medication
Learning skills The student has the skills to:
- Keep up with new developments in pharmacotherapy related to physiotherapeutic problems
- Engage in multidisciplinary discussions on (drug) treatment optimisation