Title

Adopting Population Health Frameworks in Physical Therapist Practice, Research, and Education: The Urgency of Now

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-1-2019

Abstract

© 2019 American Physical Therapy Association. Chronic, noncommunicable diseases have replaced acute, infectious diseases as the leading causes of global mortality and morbidity. Efforts among physical therapists to address noncommunicable diseases have primarily focused on the promotion of healthy behaviors among individual clients. However, the strongest predictors of chronic disease are tied to where we live, work, learn, and play, our families, and our communities. Population health frameworks can help us better understand the complex interrelations between individuals' health condition and their social and physical environment over time and also inform the development of effective programs and policies that improve the health of individuals and communities. The objectives of this article are to: (1) define population health, prevention, and health promotion; (2) provide a current perspective on the utility of population health frameworks in physical therapy; and (3) identify opportunities for the expanded use of population health frameworks in physical therapist practice, research, and education.

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