Reducing the mental load: how can physiotherapy provide emotional relief?

One in four of us will have a mental health condition at some point in our lives so it’s vital for all health practitioners to be considerate and integrate mental health support into their patients’ care plans. For physiotherapists in particular, we know that injury and pain are likely to have a negative impact on patients’ mental health and wellbeing.

Speaking to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP), head of physiotherapy at South London and the Maudsley – one of the UK’s largest NHS mental health trusts, Brendan Stubbs talks about his research that shows one in five people with osteoarthritis at any one time has depression or anxiety. Similarly, those with chronic lung conditions are also a high risk for depression and anxiety, and a third of stroke sufferers meet the criteria for a depressive episode.

This is incredibly important for physiotherapists as failure to recognise those symptoms could have a catastrophic impact on patient care. The prevalent symptoms of a poor mental health diagnosis are low mood, chaotic lifestyle, and also a poor memory which can lead to patients missing appointments and consequently being taken off the books.

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