Saeda Albarawi, a physical therapist working in Gaza, talks to Rachael Lowe (inset) online during the course

Online amputation rehabilitation course attracts 7000 physical therapists

More than 7,000 physical therapists from around the world took part in a massive online open course on rehabilitation for people with amputations, run by the International Committee of the Red Cross with Physiopedia and awarded continuing education units by WCPT. 

The free six-week course started in June and was conducted through online conversations and learning activities and reading and writing tasks. “There has been a great global conversation about rehabilitation of people with lower limb amputation that has been extraordinarily active for the last six weeks,” said Rachael Lowe, Physiopedia’s Executive Director. “It’s been amazing.”
 
The course was developed by Physiopedia with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which supports rehabilitation services for people with amputations worldwide. ICRC needed a cost-effective way of teaching the basic theory to its workforce globally, and also wanted to develop a standardised knowledge base in the field more generally.
 
"We want to build an international community around the subject, where expertise can be shared," said Barbara Rau, Physiotherapy Technical Co-ordinator for the ICRC. "This will help us build for more specialist courses."
 
"The course was a great success, especially in building a discussion community of those working with people with amputations in a wide variety of settings."
 
Among those taking part were physical therapists from areas affected by conflict and its aftermath: around 90 from Gaza, 90 from Ethiopia, 35 from Sudan and 30 from Afghanistan.
 
The course was awarded 24 WCPT International Physical Therapy Continuing Education Units (IPT-CEUs) . These can be used by physical therapists to contribute towards evidence of continuing professional development.