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UK physios want to end pyjama paralysis

Wednesday 18th April 2018
Physiotherapists across the UK are striving to end so-called pyjama paralysis. Image: Jovanmandic via iStock
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Members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) in the UK are signing up to take part in a campaign designed to end so-called pyjama paralysis among patients and older people.

Pyjama paralysis refers to the act of remaining in sleepwear all day long, which means people have no intention to be active or mobile and leave their house, leading to a negative mindset and triggering a vicious cycle.

Physiotherapists are being asked to sign up to a 70-day challenge to encourage patients to get out of bed, get dressed and get moving as part of their care, recognising that the simple act of getting ready for the day can create a positive outlook and make a person more active during its course.

Some physios have been attending work in their pyjamas to raise awareness of the initiative, and the hashtag #EndPJParalysis is being used across social media to bring the cause to the forefront of healthcare workers' minds.

In addition, a smartphone app entitled EndPJParalysis is available to download from the Apple and GooglePlay stores, providing physios with more information on the initiative and its goals.

The physiotherapy management team at Hywel Dda University Health Board is taking part in the challenge, with team member Marilize du Preez explaining to the CSP: "Physiotherapy engagement is key in changing the culture and behaviour for both patients and healthcare professionals to prevent learnt helplessness and preventable deconditioning.

"We are trying to create a culture in health where patients are empowered, promoting dignity and independency and reduce preventable deconditioning."

Her colleague Vicky Stevenson added that the #EndPJParalysis initiative was an effective example of person-centred care, helping to make people feel better about themselves and progress with their physiotherapy treatment through basic yet important acts of simple self-care.

Changing healthcare workers' mindsets to encourage them to think about individuals as people rather than patients is one key step involved in this care approach.

Written by Mathew Horton

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