This chapter describes the South African profession of Biokinetics, which operates within the pathogenic and fortogenic health paradigms. Biokinetics is an exercise therapy profession that exclusively prescribes individulaised exercise and physical activity for rehabilitation and promotion of health and quality of life. Biokinetics differs from physiotherapy primarily due its management of injuries, illnesses and disabilities within the final-phase of rehabilitation. A brief history of the profession and its scope of profession and its alignment within the South African National Health statutory and professional bodies will be presented. The two pedagogic models adopted for the teaching and training of Biokinetics will also be discussed. Interprofessional collaborative partnerships within the medical-rehabilitation fraternity, sport, health and fitness industries and educational employment opportunities will be reviewed. Finally, the idea of internationalisation of the profession of Biokinetics to similar exercise therapy professions such as Clinical Exercise Physiology and Athletic Training will be presented.
Part of the book: Sport and Exercise Science
Final-phase rehabilitation in South Africa is synonymous with the professions of Physiotherapy and Biokinetics; no consideration is given to the contribution of the profession of Recreational Therapy, which successfully contributes to other international healthcare paradigms. The primary aim was to determine whether collaborative relationships exist between South African recreational therapists and physiotherapists or biokineticists. A secondary aim was to review the potential inclusion of the profession of Recreational Therapy within the existing South African patient referral system of the multidisciplinary healthcare paradigm. An electronic search of the Google Scholar and Sabinet databases identified no records regarding interprofessional collaborative relationships between Recreational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Biokinetics. The authors therefore used two indirect records that prescribe interprofessional collaboration among South African healthcare practitioners during final-phase exercise rehabilitation. The quality of these individual records was appraised using the modified Downs and Black Scale in order to reduce bias. While there is a paucity of literature identifying the absence of interprofessional collaborative relationships between Recreational Therapy, Biokinetics, and Physiotherapy, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) guide nevertheless allows for dynamic overlap among final-phase exercise therapists, thereby providing an opportunity for the inclusion of Recreational Therapy within the existing dynamic, multidisciplinary, South African healthcare paradigm. The inclusion of the profession of Recreational Therapy, as part of a collaborative team effort, can be helpful in order to address the multifaceted challenges experienced by many South African patients.
Part of the book: Physical Therapy Effectiveness
A popular comorbidity of spinal cord injuries is physical deconditioning that frequently prejudice the person to increased risk for secondary non-communicable diseases, such as non-dependent insulin diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, cardiorespiratory diseases, obesity, osteoporosis, arthritis and osteoarthritis. Clinical literature has shown that spinal cord injured individuals have a poor cardiometabolic risk profile that amplifies the likelihood of secondary non-communicable diseases. Components of physical deconditioning include muscle atrophy, decreased aerobic capacity, inflexibility and diminished muscle and endurance. Another problem associated with spinal cord injuries is reliance or dependence on others. The combination of poor physical conditioning and dependence on others often adversely impacts on the individual’s quality of life, limiting their social interaction with others. The adherence to habitual physical activity and exercises has shown to increase conditioning status, improve health and wellbeing, increase independence, and improve confidence and self-image and successful re-integration in community. Therefore it is of paramount importance to increase awareness of the benefits of habitual physical activity and exercise to spinal cord injured patients, medical and clinical practitioners, family and friends. This chapter intends to highlight the health benefits of habitual physical activity in relation to selected secondary non-communicable diseases, and, the importance of interprofessional clinical and therapeutic team strategy to improve the spinal cord injured individuals’ quality of life.
Part of the book: Therapy Approaches in Neurological Disorders
This chapter reviews the efficacy of the only South African exercise therapy profession (Biokinetics) in the rehabilitation of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Biokinetics is a South African exercise therapy profession established in 1983 and which operates in both the pathogenic and fortogenic healthcare paradigms. Unfortunately, the profession of Biokinetics is restricted to the South African private healthcare sector. This chapter describes the scope of the profession of Biokinetics, empirical studies illustrating the efficacy of the profession in addressing society’s non-communicable disease epidemic, and the challenges inhibiting the profession from gaining access to the South African public healthcare sector. It is hoped that the presentation and critical appraisal of the empirical evidence which illustrates the contribution of the profession of Biokinetics to the rehabilitation of NCDs justifies the authors’ claims for the inclusion of the aforementioned profession in the South African public healthcare sector.
Part of the book: Healthcare Access
Spinal cord rehabilitation is a complex and consuming pathology, requiring the skillsets of numerous experts to ensure optimal treatment. To this end, the expertise of an exercise therapist (biokineticist) can play a significant role in health maintenance, as well as in the prevention of the co-morbidities often experienced by this population (elevated risk for metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease associated with SCI), positively improving patients’ overall quality of life. Biokinetics can furthermore help to lower cardiometabolic risks through the prescription of individualized exercise programs and by working in conjunction with other members of the patients’ health team. Physically active spinal cord injured individuals who use their wheelchairs as an exercise machine can benefit from the expertise of a biokineticist as far as these physically active spinal cord injured individuals often experience upper limb neuro-musculoskeletal overuse injuries. In so far as biokineticists are final-phase rehabilitation exercise therapists who prescribe structured physical activity to improve the physical and physiological conditioning of the patient, they are similar to other exercise therapists, such kinesiotherapists, physical therapists, or physiotherapists, and function within a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation team to improve the quality of life of a spinal cord injured individual.
Part of the book: Spinal Cord Injury