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The most useful type of handouts used in physical therapy are the Home Exercise Program (HEP) handouts. These physical therapy handouts contain exercises or activities that are an extension of the treatment plan.
The content of physical therapy handouts should be well-organized, to the point and simple. For example, HEP handouts should be clear about the number of repetitions, the kind of weights to be used, and the correct postures for performing the exercises.
Physical therapy handouts should contain diagrams to supplement the written instructions about exercises. Make your physical therapy handouts legible even to those who have a vision deficit problem by keeping a high amount of contrast between the foreground and the background.
Each paragraph in the handout should be centered around a single idea. Keep the font size to at least 12 points. Physical therapy handouts should be designed for the fifth grade reading level. Maintain a conversational and informal style of writing so that the patient feels that you are actually talking to him personally.
The exercises in physical therapy handouts should be sorted out in such a way that the patient doesn’t need to sit, then stand, then lie down and then stand again. All the exercises that involve sitting postures should be organized in one group, they could then be followed by the group of exercises in which the patient would have to be in standing position and so forth. The idea is for the patient not to have to change positions very often.
Try not to include extremely complex exercise routines in HEP handouts. Most patient get discouraged by complicated exercises. Try and include a small number of exercises. The chances are that the patient would stick to the program if he finds the exercise routine simple and light.
While giving physical therapy handouts to patients make sure that you take the time to explain the instructions verbally. The patient should realize that the HEP is a part of his rehabilitation package so that the complete physical therapy process is a success.
If you are still not sure about how to go about physical therapy handouts, look out for tips on http://www.therapynewsletter.com