The multidiscipline team is a group of professional people from diverse disciplines treating a specific patient through a coordinated approach by the patient’s case manager, possibly the family doctor. Multidiscipline teams provide a comprehensive consultation and treatment plan based upon the holistic assessment of a patient’s needs.
For example, botulinum toxin (botox) therapy is enhanced by using supplementary strategies of intervention. Physiotherapy, remedial massage therapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy, dietitian etcetera, is all recognized as beneficial in extending the benefits of botox and maximizing patient wellbeing.
The opportunity for attending botox clinic appointments with a treating neurologist for injections varies for different people. Some people live within a reasonable distance of the clinic enabling them to easily access other services at that location. Many people live a long way from their treatment centre thus needing to travel considerable distances. For these people there is not enough time for allied health consultation or intervention by a multidiscipline team. It is neither reasonable nor beneficial for the patient to undergo further consultation, assessment and treatment, at the time of visiting the neurologist’s botox clinic. Therefore, referral by the family doctor to local allied health practitioners according to the patient’s need is important.
My own treatment plan includes regular intervention by a speech pathologist, physiotherapist and dietitian. Ongoing speech therapy, including intervention for dysphagia, optimizes the benefits of receiving botox injections into my vocal cords and also into my neck and shoulder muscles. Fortunately, all members of my treatment team including family doctor and neurologist work very much from within a holistic framework of practice focusing on the patient’s/client’s assessed needs.
Regular intervention by members of the multidiscipline team ensures a maximal, holistic approach to the treatment plan for a person with one or more of the many forms of dystonia.
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Sue Bayliss. Cairns, Australia.