2019 Volume 62 Issue 3 Pages 178-185
Members of the Japanese Society of Physical Therapy for Diabetes Mellitus (n=4680) were surveyed to investigate the actual involvement of physical therapists in the treatment of patients with diabetic nephropathy (hereinafter, nephropathy) (recovery rate: 30.3 %). The proportion of physical therapists who indicated that they provided physical therapy for patients with nephropathy was as low as 39.4 %. The main reasons as to why they were not involved in the treatment of patients with nephropathy were that physical therapy was not prescribed by a physician, or that they had no patients with nephropathy. Considering that exercise is rarely recommended for patients with nephropathy, it was suggested that physicians would prescribe exercise therapy in very few cases. Twenty-four physical therapists involved in the treatment of nephropathy answered that they participated in a treatment team where the medical fee for the instruction to prevent dialysis in patients with diabetes was calculated. Among them, 7 answered that physical therapy was included in the additional medical charges for exercise instructions in patients with renal failure, a new medical fee category established in FY2016. Based on the survey results, evidence on the utility of physical therapy was be accumulated in order to increase physical therapists' opportunities to participate in team-based medical care to prevent dialysis.