About This Special Issue
Pharmcophysiotherpy or Rehabilitative pharmacotherapeutics is not really a new area of physiotherapy; it is only rarely practiced by physiotherapists. It involves the use of pharmacotherapy (therapeutic application of drugs) in conjunction with physiotherapy in the treatment of medical conditions. There evidences that pharmacotherapy, in recent days, has become an indispensable adjunct to the effectiveness of clinical physiotherapy practice. The three identified areas of pharmacophysiotherapy are iontophoresis, ultrasonophoresis (Phonophoresis) and supplementary prescribing (SP). There is increasing interest in pharmacotherapy by physiotherapists and this may necessitate collaboration with pharmacists. There is need for Inter-professional education and collaboration among health professionals in order to avoid misconceptions and under-utilization.
Supplementary prescribing is alien to traditional statutory roles of physiotherapy in Nigeria, whereas it is a modern day health care policy in the UK. Doctors have the sole primary responsibility of prescribing medications for patients in Nigeria, contrarily, in the United Kingdom (UK), physiotherapists and other allied health professionals are either supplementary prescribers or independent prescribers since 2005; and this was aimed at improving patient’s accessibility to medications, promote timely interventions and allow physicians to concentrate on the critically ill patients and surgery. In SP, the patients must consent to the clinical management plans.
The doctor-patient ratio in Nigeria was 1:6400 as against the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard of 1:600 and this remains a huge challenge and a short- change to Nigerian patients. There are evidences that Nigerian doctors are being overworked and there may be difficulties for patients to have access to them for prompt and adequate medical interventions. This is also dis-service to patients in the rural areas which remains the domicile of a larger population of an estimated 170million people.
The stakeholders in health are majorly the doctors, allied health professionals, government and the patients. All the stakeholders must be involved if there will be a change in the statutory roles of physiotherapy. This special issue would reveal the opinion of Nigerian doctor, pharmacists, physiotherapists and patients on SP. It would also sensitize; reveal the importance, and relevance of iontophoresis and phonophoresis in effective clinical management of patients. Similarly, it might also serve as a reference document for the review of Nigeria’s health policy on drug prescription. The knowledge and preference of Nigerian physiotherapists on topical medications would also be known in one of the reports.
Furthermore, inter-professional knowledge determines support and collaborations among health professionals. One of the studies would reveal the knowledge of pharmacists on a procedure of physiotherapy which requires drug administration.