By: Sergio Zuffo, MSc, PT
Associazione Riabilitatori dell’ Insufficienza Respiratoria (ARIR) translated Association For The Rehabilitation of Respiratory Failure represents Italian respiratory physiotherapists, and for over 10 years has been working for the establishment of respiratory care in Italy. One of ARIR’s many professional society partnerships is the decade-long relationship with the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) with the two groups dedicated to the enhancement of respiratory education, research and ultimately to improved patient care. ARIR is formally recognized by AARC as an International Affiliate.
Last January, ARIR in cooperation with the homecare provider Domedica s.r.l. launched a home-based project involving Italian respiratory physiotherapists designed to follow-up Cystic Fibrosis patients taking a specific formulation of colistimethate sodium. As part of the protocol Physiotherapists conduct home visits to educate patients on the proper management of their therapy, monitor global performance, and collect qualitative and quantitative data on their health status and adherence to the therapy. Ten Italian CF Centers are now participating in the study, with almost 75 patients enrolled. Although it has just started, feedback from patients is enthusiastic. This experience represents not only an innovative service within CF, but a chance to show how respiratory physiotherapists play a key role in fostering patients’ education and adherence to therapy.
A further example of ARIR’s commitment to promote advanced training of respiratory Physiotherapists is its recent agreement signed with the Italian Association of Physiotherapists (AIFI). This first time arrangement between the two groups is the joint publication of a position paper on aerosol therapy. This will help physiotherapists define their role and responsibilities in the prevention and treatment of chronic respiratory diseases. Moreover, it will place them in an expanded position relative to the narrow bounds of rehabilitation.
In conjunction with the University of Milan, ARIR continues to sponsor a Master Degree Course in Physiotherapy and Respiratory Rehabilitation. This advanced degree program is recognized and fully approved by the International Education Recognition System (IERS). The eighth edition of the course in 2014 has 21 physiotherapists enrolled and the course will be offered again in 2015 for the ninth consecutive year. To date 146 respiratory Physiotherapists have graduated from the course.
To learn more about ARIR you may visit the website www.arirassociazione.org and Facebook which are available in English.