Study Shows PTs Find Blood Pressure, Heart Rate Screenings Inadequate

Remarkably small percentage report screenings for new patients

An analysis of a study published in the most recent issue of PTJ revealed that only 14.8% of respondents reported measuring BP and HR on initial examination of new patients, and sheds some light on factors that influence the tendency to perform the screens—or forgo them.

Survey responses from 1,812 PTs who worked in outpatient settings and were members of the APTA Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy at the time of the survey were evaluated to show the surprising results. The survey was administered online, consisting of 30 multiple-choice questions that delved into CVD-risk screening behaviors and related rationales as well as demographics and education background of the respondents, and patient characteristics.

These results were in spite of the fact that 51 percent of PTs reported that at least half of their current patient roster was at moderate to severe risk of developing cardiovascular disease. 

The most commonly reported barriers to BP and HR screening were lack of time (37 percent) and lack of perceived importance (36 percent). Most respondents reported that they were adequately equipped to perform routine screening and felt confident in their ability to do so. 


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