FHT Members’ News – July Issue

The July issue of FHT Members’ News is out today!

JULY MEMBER NEWS

Featuring the latest news in the therapy world, job and training opportunities, as well as information about your membership, make sure you don’t miss out. This month’s news includes:

Members, be sure to check your inbox this evening for your newsletter.

Not a member, and want in on this? Contact us today to join the largest organisation for complementary, beauty, and sports therapists.

Greater muscle strength – better cognitive function for older people

Senior Couple Stretching at the Gym

Greater muscle strength is associated with better cognitive function in ageing men and women, according to a new Finnish study. The association of extensively measured upper and lower body muscle strength with cognitive function was observed, but handgrip strength was not associated with cognitive function. Cognition refers to brain functions relating to receiving, storing, processing and using information. The findings were published in European Geriatric Medicine.

The study population comprised 338 men and women with an average age of 66 years. Their muscle strength was measured utilising handgrip strength, three lower body exercises such as leg extension, leg flexion and leg press and two upper body exercises such as chest press and seated row. Sum scores to depict lower body and upper body muscle strength were calculated separately, and cognitive function was assessed using the CERAD neuropsychological test battery with calculated total score.

Handgrip strength is relatively easy and fast to measure, and it has been widely used as a measure of muscle strength in various studies. However, this new study could not demonstrate an association between muscle strength and cognitive function when using a model based on mere handgrip strength and age. Instead, an association between muscle strength and cognitive function was observed only when sum scores depicting upper or lower body muscle strength were included in the model.

‘The findings suggest that it may be justified to go beyond the handgrip and to include the upper and lower body when measuring muscle strength, as this may better reflect the association between muscle strength and cognition,’ says Early Stage Researcher Heikki Pentikäinen, the first author of the article, who is currently preparing a PhD thesis on the topic for the University of Eastern Finland.

Exercise is known to have various health benefits, and strength training is a way for practically everyone to increase muscle mass and enhance muscle strength. However, the association of muscle strength with various aspects of cognitive function is a relatively under-researched area. The study provided new insight into the methodology of measuring muscle strength and into the role of muscle strength in cognitive function. The study constituted part of the extensive, population-based DR’s EXTRA study, which was a four-year randomised and controlled intervention study analysing the effects of exercise and nutrition on endothelial function, atherosclerosis and cognition. The study was carried out at Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine in 2005–2011 and it involved more than 1,400 men and women living in the eastern part of Finland.

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Men’s Fitness heats up July with Accredited Register awareness campaign

Keep an eye out for the July issue of Men’s Fitness, where you can find Nick and Kevin‘s ‘My therapist helps me…’ campaign in the Trainer section.

Mens Fitness - July 2017

This promotes the hard work the FHT’s members do, and the benefits available to the public, to a wide audience of highly active, health-conscious readers. We always want to showcase the best, and what better way to do that than with the backing of a government-accountable accreditation?

You can also find posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – please share/re-tweet to help spread the word!

If you would like to join FHT or find out more about our Accredited Register, visit: fht.org.uk/join

Improvement needed in mental health services for children & adolescents across Europe

A study of child and adolescent mental health care has found that provision needs to be improved across the whole of the EU.

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Research led by Professor Swaran Singh of Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick found substantial improvements were needed across the board from planning to monitoring, and delivery. The study Architecture and functioning of child and adolescent mental health services: a 28-country survey in Europe has been published today recently in The Lancet Psychiatry. Professor Singh’s fellow lead authors are Giulia Signorini MSc and Giovanni de Girolamo MD of the Psychiatric Epidemiology and Evaluation Unit, Saint John of God Clinical Research Center, Brescia.

Professor Singh said: ‘In all 28 countries we found that resource allocation wasn’t evenly spread to effectively deal with need.

‘Our survey provides important information for the evaluation and planning of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Europe.

‘It highlights areas of concern: poor service planning and the paucity of standardised outcome assessments for service provision or performance, scarce or variable involvement of service users and their families, and the scarcity of interdisciplinary CAMHS and adult mental health services.’

The team of academics examined characteristics of national child and adolescent mental services across the EU, including legal aspects of adolescent care. Using an online survey completed by child psychiatrists and national child psychiatry associations in each country they obtained data on issues such as availability of services; inpatient beds; clinicians and organisations; and delivery of specific services and treatments.

The study highlighted that the number of public services varies considerably across the EU, from just two each in Malta and Luxembourg to 939 in the UK. The number of public CAMHS relative to the target population ranged from 12.9 per 100 000 young people in Finland to 0.5 per 100 000 young people in Bulgaria. On average young people constitute a fifth of the general population of Europe.

In several countries, specific subgroups of children and adolescents had poor access to specialised mental health services dedicated to them. For example, of 27 countries, only ten (37%) provided access to refugees, seven (26%) to orphans or victims of natural or man-made disasters, six (22%) to seriously emotionally disturbed children, four (15%) to minority groups, three (11%) to runaway or homeless children, and two (7%) to indigenous people.

Nine (33%) of 27 countries had no special services designed to meet the specific needs of these subgroups, and only seven (26%) of 27 countries indicated having highly specialised services for fostered children, children who have offended and been charged with crimes, disabled children, children with autism, or children who misuse substances.

Professor Singh added: ‘Clearer national policies are needed for service delivery and structure and for standardised tools to assess the delivery, take up, and effectiveness of treatment. Young people’s needs should be central to service provision, which requires improved understanding of their treatment experiences and satisfaction with services. Professional training should be revised to bridge the gap between professional and service-related cultures.’

The study is part of the five year MILESTONE project which aims to improve transitions for young people from CAMHS to adult mental health services across Europe.

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Missed the last Pedal for Parkinson’s event? Two more around the bend

Calling all qualified sports massage FHT members. Parkinson’s UK is looking for volunteer massage therapists to support their series of cycling events across the country this summer – can you help?

sunny road

There will be approximately 250 cyclists taking part to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. But it takes more than pedalling to keep the wheels turning!

What’s involved?

  • Providing post-race leg massage to cyclists to aid their recovery from the ride. Ideally approximately 20 minutes per cyclist.
  • Congratulating cyclists on their achievement and speaking to them about the ride, including any injuries they may have sustained.

What skills do you need?

  • Level 3 Sports Massage

Where and when is it?

  • Dates: 2 July and 6 August, 2017
  • Venues:
    • 2 July – Ripley Castle, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 3AY
    • 6 August – Torbrex Farm Road, Stirling, FK8 2PA
  • Schedule: The event starts at 9am, with 3 distances; 19, 40 and 57 miles. Shifts will last for 5 hours – commencing at 10.30am and ending at 3.30-4pm.

They are committed to ensuring that no volunteer should find themselves out of pocket because of expenses incurred when carrying out activities on their behalf. As a volunteer, you can claim out of pocket expenses in line with Parkinson’s UK’s Volunteer Expenses Policy. They will also provide a sandwich lunch.

For more information and to take part please contact : Julia Selby, Events Project Manager – Cycling, Parkinson’s UK. T: 020 7963 9312 E: jselby@parkinsons.org.uk

 

Complementary medicine in Switzerland now a mandatory health insurance service

The Swiss Federal Government announces that specific medical services using complementary medicine are to be covered by mandatory health insurance (basic insurance).

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The Swiss Umbrella Association for Complementary Medicine and the Union of Associations of Swiss Physicians for Complementary Medicine welcome this decision. It implements one of the key demands of the constitutional referendum held on 17 May 2009. With this decision, the Swiss Federal Council is acknowledging that complementary medicine in Switzerland meets statutory regulations when it comes to effectiveness, guaranteeing high quality and safety.

At the 17 May 2009 constitutional referendum, the Swiss people voted in favour of complementary medicine being included in public healthcare by a two-thirds majority. A key requirement of the new constitutional article 118a on complementary medicine is that mandatory health insurance (basic insurance) also has to cover specific services using complementary medicine.

It is now decided that the following disciplines of complementary medicine will be fully covered by mandatory health insurance (basic insurance) as of 1 August 2017: anthroposophical medicine, classical homoeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and herbal medicine, provided that these are practised by conventional medical practitioners who have an additional qualification in one of the four disciplines as recognised by the Swiss Medical Association (FMH).

The Swiss Federal Health Insurance Act (HIA, 1996) together with constitutional article 118a provide everyone with access to complementary medical services (according to the solidarity principle). Despite these regulations, the implementation was followed by several years of controversy about how to cover the costs of complementary medical services. Scientific programmes commissioned by the government were abused for political ends, meaning that, for a while, such services were no longer covered.

With today’s decision, the Swiss Federal Government is finally acknowledging that complementary medicine meets the regulations of the HIA when it comes to effectiveness, guaranteeing high quality and safety. By law, only those services that are effective, appropriate and cost-effective (art. 32 of the requirements of the Federal Act on Health Insurance) can be covered.

The Swiss government’s decision is important for any person or family that cannot afford private supplementary insurance and for people with indications for which the only available options in conventional medicine carry a higher potential risk.

The Swiss Umbrella Association for Complementary Medicine and the Union of Associations of Swiss Physicians for Complementary Medicine are pleased with the Federal Council’s policy decision to strengthen support for complementary medicine in basic medical care.

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