The APTA stands for The American Physical Therapy Association. The American Physical Therapy Association is a professional organization with individual membership representing more than 95,000 physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, and current students of physical therapy. According to their website, “The American Physical Therapy Association seeks to improve the health and quality of life of individuals in society by advancing physical therapist practice, education, and research, and by increasing the awareness and understanding of physical therapy's role in the nation's health care system.”
First and foremost, the American Physical Therapy Association is concerned with delivering the best in patient care. The APTA constantly improves, widens, and enhances its database of customer issues to act as a resource for incoming Physical Therapists, or those who would like to be in-the-know regarding the most up to date practices. Effective patient care requires clinical knowledge and understanding of issues that enable physical therapy practice and affect the delivery of care. Some of the most common conditions that seek physical therapy are sciatica, arthritis, and wounded warriors regaining mobility.
According to the APTA, “The physical therapy profession recognizes the use of evidence-based practice (EBP) as central to providing high-quality care and decreasing unwarranted variation in practice. EBP includes the integration of best available research, clinical expertise, and patient values and circumstances related to patient and client management, practice management, and health policy decision-making.” This strategy involves pairing the best available evidence (sourced through clinical trials and research), with the clinician’s own knowledge and skills. However, the most important factor in developing a physical therapy plan is the patient’s wants and needs. Incorporating a patient's cultural considerations, needs, and values is a necessary skill to provide best practice services. The patient could be looking for medical treatment, a holistic strategy, or combination of the two.