Year 2018, Volume 47, Issue 3

The importance of the Army Physical Therapist´s role: a systematic review

Ramos-Bustos G, Vázquez-Fariñas M.


Introduction: Physical Therapy plays an important role in the Armed Forces of some countries. The objective of this review is to search evidence related to its importance. Material and method: Medline, Dialnet, Scielo and PEDRo were consulted. The main inclusion criterions were quantitative and qualitative studies, written between 1994 and 2017, in Spanish or English language and concerning the presence of the military physical therapist. Studies data were classified in some items about the injuries of the military population and the role of the military physical therapists in them. Results: the chronic neuromuscular diseases are the most prevalent pathologies in the military population, and the health professional in charge of this injuries is the army physical therapist, who is able to work at any level of medical care. Military Physical Therapy achieves a decrease of unnecessary medical evacuations, and saves economic costs. It also decreases the amount of work at the highest levels of medical care and it has an important role working with the orthopaedic physician. Discussion and conclusion: military physical therapists are experts in the management of neuromusculoskeletal injuries, saving economic costs and unnecessary medical evacuations, mainly. Studies of highest methodological quality about the advantages and disadvantages that Physiotherapy bring to the military health wourld be necessary.

Keywords: army, Physiotherapy, military medicine, neuromuscular diseases.