Proserpine Hospital, Australia
Keynote: Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia
Time : 10:00AM - 10:40AM
Mrs. Anne-Marie Kehres, a Masters in Neurorehabilitation and work as a generalist Physiotherapist at Proserpine Hospital. She has implemented a Neurorehabilitation program as well as balance and strengthening programs at Proserpine Hospital. Her position demands that she put on multiple hats as she works across all areas from inpatients, outpatients, emergency, orthopedic, pediatric, womenâ€™s health and day surgery. She works with a great interdisciplinary team focussed on wholistic treatment and discharge planning. As a private Physiotherapist, She has also worked tirelessly to keep our local nursing home open and well-funded, through funded activities and fund raising. Her passion has and always will be neurological disorders. Her aim is to spread the message that Physiotherapists not only treat symptoms and body parts but also act as advocates to better the quality of life of our patients.
HSP is a large group of inherited neurologic disorders in which the prominent feature is a progressive spastic paraparesis. Also known as Familial Spastic Paraparesis it is an inherited central nervous system disorder typically characterized by gradual development of muscle weakness, spasms and stiffness of the legs, which may be first noticed in early childhood, or at any age through adulthood.
In a rural facility, physiotherapy services are offered by a generalist. As a generalist physiotherapist I can identify many gaps (additional services) that have been reported in literature as a high priority for people with HSP and other neurological conditions. Unfortunately, many of these gaps cannot be filled. In a review of the literature conducted in Norway, the authors found that the need for professionals who understood neurological conditions was constantly revisited. Lack of local specialists was blamed on the problems of living in a rural location. In response to the lack of availability of local expertise, many people had turned to the internet for information. Others had travelled hundreds of miles to access specialist care, despite this being both onerous and inconvenient. With these issues in mind, it was clear that all the participants, both those affected by HSP and the professionals, recognised the value of the local HSP support group which was seen as central to sharing information and experience.
This presentation focuses on a case study of a young 51 year old lady with a diagnosis of HSP who moved to rural North Queensland Australia. I have presented the service gaps and challenges and how these challenges were met to provide holistic treatment for this rare and difficult condition.