Developing Physio details

Our next step is to take this to a bigger audience (NGOs etc) for their feedback.  If anyone has any contacts in rehab, teaching, developing communities or aid who would be happy to be approached for feedback, please let me know on

What is the  ‘tool’..?

The tool is a teaching book and a wind up (or solar powered) laptop used by physios to teach local communities how to diagnose and treat disorders with physiotherapy skills.

Teaching will be delivered in modules, each lasting a month.  A physio can therefore decide how many months they want to teach for.  After the physio leaves, the rehab worker can put their learning into practice.  Then the same physio, or a new physio, can return to continue teaching where the last left off.

This universal tool needs to be user friendly, non-religious, non-political, to be multi-lingual and respectful of cultural differences. It must be sustainable, able to be used in rural communities and then left behind and understood by communities after the physio has departed. 

This project will be developed in 5 key steps:

Step 1: Research, discuss and finalise what this teaching 'tool' will compose of.

Step 2: Development of the 'rehab teaching tool' (in the form of a book and a wind up laptop - see below).

Step 3: Work with NGOs to assess appropriate communities to teach rehab skills to and recruit an appropriate rehab trainee.  (Where possible this will be done by the local community or NGOs).

Step 4: Train physios how to teach the tool in developing communities via a 3 day course in the UK before they leave.

Step 5: Work with NGOs to position the physio to teach the tool in the field and leave this with the community.

Step 6: Feedback, continuous evaluation, development and updating the tool.

Teaching in the field will fall into the three categories below:

1. Basic anatomy, physiology and palpation.

2. Assessment and how to make a differential diagnosis.  (The differential diagnosis will have a box of facts with it eg aetiology, causes, prognosis etc).

3. Treatment (includes reassessment, progression of treatment, exercise sheets and teaching a rural family basic exercises).

The book:

The basic anatomy, physiology and palpation will be displayed in the first part of a simple picture book.  (With a colouring book as homework).  The second part of the book will focus on differential diagnosis in flow diagrams.  

The diagnosis will then correspond to a treatment plan.  Treatment will be demonstrated by a series of films of a physio treating a patient.  This will be on a wind up laptop or solar powered laptop.  It will have a voice over, translated into the local language and also have English subtitles.


The laptop:

The diagnosis will end with a treatment number.  This number will be on the laptop to tap into.  This will open up a file showing video clips of the specific treatments.

This will form the basic rehab treatments.  When we have completed this, a second round of modules will teach intermediate skills and a third round of modules will teach advanced skills. These are useful for countries where basic rehab services already exist.


At present everyone’s work or involvement to develop this tool is voluntary including the  teaching.  We have a small set up budget from the sale of Athletes’ Angels (AA) to cover a website and minor costs.  Going forwards, annually we will recieve 5% of the AA annual gross profit.  Money is collected via the Scottish Community Foundation Scottish Charity No. SC022910.  The rehab worker in the developing community will be paid when they start work, either by local NGOs, government health groups, or in more developed communities – by the actual local community them selves.

*       *      *      * 

As developing communities differ greatly, this project can not happen with just one physios experience alone and will certainly work best the more we pool our experiences and feedback together.   Please can you give us your honest feedback (positive and/or negative) on whether you agree this would work in the environments you have had experience in.  You can leave all comments here.

On behalf of all the patients who will eventually benefit from this tool, thank you for any comments.


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