#PTonICE Daily Show – Wednesday, April 10th, 2024 – Make it meaningful, load it, dose it: a case study

In today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, join Modern Management of the Older Adult lead faculty Julie Brauer takes listeners through a case study, showcasing how therapists dig deeper into patient goals in order to create meaningful treatment sessions that improve patient function.

Take a listen to learn how to better serve this population of patients & athletes, or check out the full show notes on our blog at www.ptonice.com/blog.

If you’re looking to learn more about live courses designed to better serve older adults in physical therapy or our online physical therapy courses, check our entire list of continuing education courses for physical therapy including our physical therapy certifications by checking out our website. Don’t forget about all of our FREE eBooks, prebuilt workshops, free CEUs, and other physical therapy continuing education on our Resources tab.


Hey everybody, Alan here, Chief Operating Officer at ICE. Thanks for listening to the PT on ICE Daily Show. Before we jump into today’s episode, let’s give a big shout out to our show sponsor, Jane. in online clinic management software and EMR. The Jane team understands that getting started with new software can be overwhelming, but they want you to know that you’re not alone. To ensure the onboarding process goes smoothly, Jane offers free data imports, personalized calls to set up your account, and unlimited phone, email, and chat support. With a transparent monthly subscription, you’ll never be locked into a contract with Jane. If you’re interested in learning more about Jane or you want to book a personalized demo, head on over to jane.app.switch. And if you do decide to make the switch, don’t forget to use our code ICEPT1MO at sign up to receive a one month free grace period on your new Jane account.

Good morning crew. Welcome to the PT on Ice daily show. My name is Julie. I am a member of the older adult division and I’m going to be talking to you all this morning about make it meaningful, load it, dose it. So what is that? Make it meaningful, load it, dose it is the exercise prescription formula that the older division uses. So those of you who have taken our online course or our live course, you have heard this, you have learned about it. So what we’re going to do this morning is I’m going to take you through how to apply this formula specifically for the goal of a patient who wants to return to gardening. So we’re going to go through a little bit of a case study here. So to dive a little deeper into exactly what’s coming up, I’m going to take you through how to dig deeper into the goal of when someone tells you I want to be able to garden on my own. We’re going to dig deeper there and talk about why it’s important And then I’m going to show you how you can take that goal and break it down into its functional movement parts, because that is going to give you all the exercises that you will be using throughout your plan of care. Using this formula is going to be able to give you all a way to create meaningful, effective, and efficient exercise programs for your patients. So we’ll dig into the goal, we’ll break it down into its movement parts. Then when I see you all again in a couple weeks, I will have my wireless mic by then and I’m going to go out into my garage and I’m going to show you what some of these exercises look like and give you some scaling options and how we would load it and dose it for intensity.

Okay, so let’s start from the beginning. We have to dig deep with every single patient when they give us a goal. We got to dig deep for the details. Why? Two main things. First, we want to know, in particular for this case study, when this patient says, I want to be able to garden, we want to know why. We want to know why gardening is important. What about gardening is this individual most excited about? We want to know the emotional why, because that’s going to get us our buy-in. Next, we want to know details down to the nitty-gritty, exactly what this activity looks like. I want to know what this gardening task looks like from start to finish, because once you visualize it, you’re going to recreate it. That is going to give you all of the exercises that you’re going to ever have to do with this patient throughout your plan of care. It’s the easy button. So when I say dig deeper to get to the emotional why, this is what I mean. It sounds something like this. So patient, let’s call her Dolores. All right, we’ll call her Dolores. Dolores tells you, I want a garden on my own and you’re going to say, Dolores, tell me more about that. What about gardening is so important to you? I would love to hear more. When you are asking Dolores about her goal, you are giving her eye contact. This is not the time to open up your laptop and do any typing. You give her your undivided attention for these first few minutes while you are asking her about gardening and why it’s important. Dolores, what about gardening brings you joy? What are you most excited about with gardening? This is where you can say, I love gardening. I grew up with a garden. My mom would, we would plant catnip and we would make our cats go crazy. I mean, literally this is true for me. This is what I’ve told my patients when they’ve told me they want to get back to a gardening task. Relate to your patient, right? Make that connection. When you do that, you’re allowing the patient to give you more of a story behind why it’s important. So Dolores is going to tell you something like this is true for a patient I recently had. My granddaughter is getting to an age where she likes to garden with her mom and I want to be able to garden with her as well and I want to be able to go outside and garden with my granddaughter and feel confident doing that. Boom, there’s your emotional why. You have to dig deep enough to get to that point. Why? Because superficial goals, if you were to just leave it at, I wanna be able to garden, I wanna get stronger to be able to go outside. If you leave it at that superficial goal point, you lack the emotional connection. And Jeff Moore did a podcast, I cannot remember what it’s called, but he says, and it stuck with me, this is probably a year ago, Superficial goals lack emotional connection, and emotional connection is what motivates your patient. Emotional connection is what’s going to motivate your patient. So you find that emotional why, now your patient’s connected to you, they believe you give a damn, you feel connected to them, you’ve got that therapeutic alliance, you both are invested and locked in. Okay, Moving on, the next details that you want are the nitty gritty details of what that gardening task looks like. So this is what it sounds like. I will say, Dolores, I want to visualize what this gardening looks like. Can you tell me exactly what it looks like from start to finish, from the very beginning to the end and everything in between? I want to be able to visualize it. as Dolores is walking you through all of the functional demands that she has to be able to do in order to fulfill this goal. I am using my whiteboard and I am writing this down. Now I know this was reversed for you all. I’m going to take a picture of this and put it in the comment on this post, but I am writing down every single thing she says. All right. So I have a whiteboard at the top. I’m going to put her name. Maybe I’ll say this is, uh, Dolores, Dolores gets a garden strong, something like that. Those little details can make it much more meaningful to your patient. Little special things that you can add in.

So I have her name at the top and then as she is telling me what she has to do, I write it down. So she will say something like, I need to be able to push the door open on my own to get from inside to outside. So I’m writing that down. And then in parentheses, I’m putting what type of exercise exactly mimics that activity. So if she says, I need to be able to push the door open to go from inside to outside, To me, my fitness forward brain is what does that look like? Oh, a sled push. Awesome. So I write down push door open and then in parentheses I put sled push. Then she tells me, all right, and then I got to walk over grass and I have some stepping stones and I have some gravel. So she told me she has to walk over variable terrain. So then in parentheses, what am I putting down? Okay. So that’s stepping on and over obstacles. Then she tells me, then I’m going to have to pick up some stuff and carry it around. So I got to pick up some tools. I got to pick up my mulch. My fitness forward brain goes, okay, what looks exactly like that? Pick up and carry. Well, I know that that’s going to be a deadlift and that’s going to be a loaded carry. Then Dolores says, then I’m going to have to get down on my knees and do some things on the ground. I’m going to have to get up and off the ground quite a few times. My fitness for brain says, what is that? Well, that’s going to be a lot of floor transfer, part practice and full practice. Then she says, I got to pull weeds as well. It’s, you know, usually like, Oh, well it’s, it’s not the best part of the job, but it has to be done. I want my garden to look really nice. I need to be able to pull weeds. So I’m thinking, what does pull weeds look like? My fitness for my fitness for brain says that’s going to be quadruped position and I’m going to do some quadruped rowing. Okay. I’m trying to make it look exactly like that functional activity. You’re catching on here, right? You’re understanding what I’m doing. I am taking everything she’s saying and I’m turning it into what the exercise is going to be. That looks exactly like that activity. And then the last thing she says is, and I need to do all of that and I don’t want to fall over. So when I hear that, I know that I have to add in some perturbations. So I’m going to be giving her some external perturbations that are going to force her to take that reactive step. So I can train that. So I can train her dynamic balance. So now that I have that entire list, I am going to teach it back to her. I am going to say, Dolores, I was writing down everything you were telling me, all the pieces and parts that are important in order for you to accomplish this goal. Is this correct? And I’m going to go through and I’m going to say, Dolores, what I heard, what you told me is you need to push the door open. You need to walk over grass and gravel. You need to pick up and carry some stuff. You got to get down on your knees. You got to pull some weeds and you want to be able to do all of that without tipping over. Dolores is going to sit back and be like, wow, this person was actually listening to me. You have just improved that therapeutic alliance even more because you have heard her well. So now you have this entire bank of exercises. This is what you’re going to pull from. Now that, I mean that was sit one, two, three, four, five, six. Those are six different movements there. That list could be less than six. It could be way more than six. So then you’re going to think, okay, well, what’s the next step here? I have all of these movements. What do I do with them?

Next, you want to assess Dolores, how she goes through the motions of these functional movements. So when you are in an outpatient clinic, you got to recreate it in your clinic. If you’re in a home health setting, this is easy peasy. You say to Dolores, all right, we’re going to go through and I’m going to have you show me exactly what this looks like. All right. Something that I like to do when I, before I do this assessment to watch what this looks like is I will ask Dolores, I will ask my patients, What about all of those movements? Which of those do you feel like you can do really well? What are you really strong at when it comes to all those different pieces and parts that make up gardening? And then I will ask her, which of those movements are you fearful of? Which of those do you feel like that you don’t really have the strength to do yet? I want to know her perception of her own abilities. And because as I’m assessing her, I’m looking at a lot, this is going to help me dial in exactly what I should pay attention to. I want to know the things that she’s really strong at and see if she is actually strong at those. And I want to know the things that she’s fearful of and see if she actually struggles with those pieces and parts. So after I asked her that, I kind of put a little asterisk sign into which of those movements are her strong movements and her weaker movements based on her perception. And then it’s assessment time. So again, in the home setting, I am having her do the thing. I am not helping her. It’s very similar. If you work in inpatient rehab, you just do the assessment, a FIM care tool. You’re not helping them. You’re simply watching how they do it. This is not the time. to assist and teach and coach, you are simply watching. In the clinic, this is where you want to set this environment up. You want to mimic and recreate this activity.

So this may ruffle a few feathers, but as opposed to say you have budget and you have some money to spend at your clinic to buy equipment, I’m going to give you a potentially not popular opinion. Maybe instead of buying that barbell first for your clinic, if you’re working with older adults, what if you bought functional activities that older adults actually use and that are not intimidating to them and directly relate to the goals they’re trying to achieve? So what if you bought a laundry basket? What if you bought a bag of mulch? What if you bought some gardening tools? What if you brought in a, um, some laundry detergent, some pots, some pans, dog food, things that older adults are lifting and carrying and using at home pretty consistently. I would rather have those things at my disposal to use right away when I introduce loading to an older adult versus rely on jumping straight to the barbell where someone can be incredibly intimidated by that. This is not a or situation. This is an and. However, I have learned over time that I’m going to get more people to buy in if I have those functional activities those functional objects that people use at home that’s going to get me more buy-in than saying all right you have to pick up uh and carry tools from um when you go out and garden well let’s go do it with this barbell That’s a lot harder of a sell. So here’s your call to action. Spend that extra clinic money or just take stuff from your home that you don’t use. You know, don’t throw it away or go to a garage sale or a thrift store, whatever it is, and get this stuff and bring it into your clinic. All right, so you’re going to set this all up in the clinic. You’re going to assess, you’re watching to see her quality. You’re watching to see how long it takes her. I mean, this really is becoming an outcome measure for me. this is going to become like a benchmark workout. Okay. So think about it that way. This is, this is much more than an assessment. I’m going to use and recreate this, uh, call it a meaningful obstacle course that looks exactly like her gardening task. And I’m going to run it again and again and again. So I can track her progress and how well she’s able to do this activity. So from them, I have recreated, the functional activity. I am assessing how well she does. I’m taking notes. I’m looking at the things she’s strong at, the things she’s weak at. After we’re done, we’re sitting down and we’re recapping. Are the things that she thought she was strong at and weak at, did that match with how she actually performed? And we have a discussion there. From there, again, I’m looking at this list and now I’m talking to Dolores and I’m saying, Dolores, Based on what we just saw and what you just felt, these are the few activities, and you’re looking for three to four here, three to four. These are the three to four activities that we are gonna focus on next session. And what are you gonna do? You are going to create an EMOM or an AMRAP with those few functional activities that you together have determined are the most important and you’re going to find a way to load it up, whether that’s adding physical load or cognitive load, and you’re going to find a way to appropriately dose it so that you know you are at an appropriate intensity to drive adaptation.

Okay, so that is how we go from taking a goal, digging deep to get to the emotional why, going through breaking down that meaningful goal into its functional movement parts. All right, that is the hardest part. It’s the most important part. When I see you on a couple weeks, I will use this same exact case study and I’m going to take all of these exercises and I am going to show you ways to scale this up, scale it down, dose it, add some load, whether that’s physical load or cognitive load. The idea here is we want to make our sessions and our AMRAPs, our EMOMs and the workouts harder than what the demand is that she actually has to do to reach that goal. Because if she is able to do her gardening tasks with load on her, with cognitive load on her, adding in intensity, then gardening with her granddaughter is going to feel easy. And that is the goal. All right, guys, that’s all I got for you. I will post a screenshot of this list. So if you all have a patient whose goal is to garden at any point the rest of the week, you have a nice list of exercises that would probably be very relatable and meaningful for them. To end things out, I will let you guys know what we have coming up in the Older Adult Division in terms of courses. For the rest of the month, we will be on the road in Washington, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. And then both of our online courses, Level 1 and Level 2, are starting in the month of May. We would love to see you on the road or online. PTI Nice is where all that lives. If you have any questions, any comments about anything we talked about today, hit me up. Would love to jam on anything with you all. Have a wonderful rest of your Wednesday.

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