How to Know If Your Physical Therapy Patient is Completing Their Home Exercise Program

It’s quite interesting talking with physical therapists about how they know if their patients are doing their home exercises. Many therapists will be able to tell immediately if their patients have not been doing their home exercises once they start manipulating them on the table. They can tell by the patient’s range of motion or by their strength improvements (or the lack of it).

We also hear stories about the patient telling their therapists that they’ve been doing their home exercises regularly only to immediately follow the statement up with the question “How do I do this exercise?” when the therapist tells them to start their in-clinic program.

In the article “Why Some People Are More Motivated Than Others (And How to Increase Your Exercise Drive)”, the author identifies three of the most common implicit motives: power, affiliation, and achievement.

For patients who do their exercises in-clinic, affiliation is the most likely motivator as they feel happiest being with friends and are motivated to do their exercises within the presence of their therapist. Extending this emotional component to their home exercises will help achieve home compliance.

The PT-Helper mobile app can be used by the therapist to give the patient the perception of affiliation. The app will walk them through their exercises just as if they were in the clinic by counting their hold times, repetitions and sets. The mobile app will also keep track every time the patient completes an exercise. You can ask them to show you their exercise history at each visit to increase the mental perception that you are watching over them.

We have received feedback from PT-Helper mobile app users who love to show their exercise history to their therapists. Clearly these individuals experience satisfaction and happiness being able to show their therapists that they’ve achieved their goals.

Physical therapists can help their patients use the PT-Helper mobile app by utilizing PT-Helper’s CONNECT web-based exercise prescription service. CONNECT is easy to use and makes it easy for your patient to download their exercises to their mobile app. CONNECT can remotely record when a patient completes an exercise giving quick update on their compliance.

There’s nothing like establishing a relationship with your patient that helps drive their individual motivations. Using PT-Helper CONNECT and the PT-Helper mobile app can help you tap into the affiliation motivation and improve home exercise compliance.

Start your Free 30-day Trial of the PT-Helper CONNECT tool for physical therapists and other therapy providers.

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