Lifestyle Medicine in Physical Therapy to Reduce Chronic Disease

presented by James Carlson

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Chronic disease is a huge burden to the health care system. Fifty percent of the risk associated with chronic disease is attributable to lifestyle choices. Aside from smoking, hypertension, type II diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity contribute significantly to the morbidity, mortality, and negative quality of life associated with chronic diseases. All can be significantly improved through lifestyle changes. With our wide scope of practice, physical therapists are positioned well to engage in lifestyle behavior change. This course aims to encourage incorporation of lifestyle behavioral change relating to chronic disease into clinical practice to alter the course of our patient's future health care utilization, morbidity, mortality, and quality of life.

Meet Your Instructor

  • James Carlson, MPT, CCS

    Mr. Carlson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology (1996) and his Masters in Physical Therapy (1999) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has delivered numerous CE courses on rehabilitating cardiopulmonary patients for the WPTA and University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. In 2015, he provided a course entitled Cardiopulmonary Essentials: Applications to Clinical Practice for the Army-Baylor DPT program as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series. He has been an Honorary Associate/Fellow for the University of Wisconsin – Madison since 2009, where he has been the lead instructor for The Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Aspects of PT course. He received his Cardiopulmonary Clinical Specialist Certification through the APTA in 2012. He developed the curriculum and serves as the lead mentor for the William S. Middleton VA’s Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Residency program. He has been the Lead PT for the William S. Middleton VA Hospital’s Heart and Lung Transplant program as well as serving as the lead primary clinician for the William S. Middleton VA’s Cardiopulmonary Specialty Clinic for the past 17 years.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. The Steady Decline in American Health

    1. The Steady Decline in American Health

    Rates of hypertension, obesity, type II diabetes, and physical inactivity are alarmingly high and have been rapidly increasing over the past two decades. Resulting chronic disease is projected to lower life expectancy in the current generation of Americans. Most management is reactive rather than proactive. This chapter aims to increase awareness of this health care crisis to encourage lifestyle behavioral modification in clinical practice.

  2. Hypertension: The Silent Killer

    2. Hypertension: The Silent Killer

    Most clinicians recognize that hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Blood pressure screening is important, as many patients are unaware they have hypertension. Only 50% of patients with known hypertension achieve target blood pressure control. This chapter aims to describe the effects of hypertension on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality to encourage routine blood pressure screening into clinical practice.

  3. The Explosion of Type II Diabetes, Obesity, and Physical Inactivity

    3. The Explosion of Type II Diabetes, Obesity, and Physical Inactivity

    Obesity, type II diabetes, and inactivity are at epidemic levels in the United States. The medical community is inadequately addressing these major contributors to chronic preventable disease in public health. This chapter will provide the clinician with an understanding of the interconnected relationships between obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and inactivity to improve clinician confidence for proactive discussions regarding lifestyle and its contributions to chronic disease.

  4. The Impact of Lifestyle Change for Chronic Diseases

    4. The Impact of Lifestyle Change for Chronic Diseases

    Pharmacological and surgical management does not have to the be the gold standard in addressing chronic disease. The impact of lifestyle change has powerful effects on lowering morbidity and mortality. The aim of this chapter is to improve awareness of the impacts of lifestyle changes in lowering rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and their morbidity and mortality to encourage lifestyle discussions in clinical practice.

  5. Integrating Lifestyle Medicine Into Clinical Practice

    5. Integrating Lifestyle Medicine Into Clinical Practice

    Lifestyle discussions require a different approach to clinical interaction. Traditional patient interview is based more on identifying a problem and then treating. The aim of this chapter is to illustrate how lifestyle discussions are abstract, requiring understanding of the patient's environment outside of the health care system. Patient simulation will be used to illustrate this difference.

  6. Q&A

    6. Q&A

    This is a question and answer session with Katie Hutchins about her background in physical therapy.