G. Medri, A. Amici, M. Palazzi



The public health systems in developed countries will face scenarios characterized by a gap between supply and demand for healthcare, due to the projected lengthening of life expectancy and higher incidence of chronic diseases. The nations are being facing this challenge through a radical change in their health care procedures and by increasing investments in the assistance of individuals with chronic diseases. The strategy consists in strengthening the primary healthcare network, integrated with the social sector, and in organizing multi-professional and multi-disciplinary teams, able to act in a proactive and differentiated way according to risk level, need and complexity. For this purpose the Emilia-Romagna Region, by Regional Resolution (DGR) N.291/2010, aims at building medical and socio-medical structures that can be considered  a reference point by the citizens and that you can turn to any time to find an answer to health related problems: the health care house.

The goal of the present research study is to identify the contribution that the physiotherapist can provide to the health care house working team.


Given the small number of health care houses where the physiotherapist is currently present in Emilia-Romagna 2012), it was decided to conduct this research in the context of a meaningful experience at the health care house of San Secondo parmense (Parma, Italy). A qualitative research was performed, through semi-structured audio-recorded interviews, where professional opinions were collected. The methodology applied to carry out the survey and analyze the data is the phenomenological method.


Medical managers, physicians, nurses, physiotherapists and the social worker find the contribution by the physiotherapist an added value either in the daily work and in the integrated care pathways: Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, severe cerebral lesions, consequences of mastectomy, arthropathy, childhood disabilities and prevention of falls in elderly. Respondents indicate the need to organize a new model for prevention, assessment and treatment of arthropathies, the main cause of the lengthening of physiotherapy waiting lists.


Enhancing self-management through patient education emerges as an important issue. The respondents identify the physiotherapist as the one who, taking care of the patients and of their education, should guide them toward adapted physical activity programs, after the maximum functional outcome achievable through rehabilitation has been reached.


Chronic diseases, health care house, physiotherapist, self-management, education.

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Scienza riabilitativa 16.3 – Art.2