Red Flags Screening – Collaborative approach by physiotherapists and medical doctors

Simon Gasselich, M.E. Lickel, Wolfgang Lackenbauer, Reinhard Beikircher, Christian Keip, M. Wieser, L. Schabel, B. Mazuquin, G. Yeowell, J. Selfe, Jessica Janssen

Publikation: KonferenzbeitragPosterBegutachtung


Red flags screening is a crucial aspect of patient care. By the proper identification of these signs and symptoms, early detection and appropriate management of serious pathologies can be enabled.
In the current trend of increasing average lifespan, the number of serious pathologies is rising. This increase will be a challenge for the healthcare system, wherefore it is important to establish a broader team of healthcare workers that are able to detect serious pathologies adequately. For this purpose, creating a red flags training for physiotherapists based on the literature and the experience of specialists (medical doctors [MD], physiotherapists [PT]) in different fields, is necessary.
The aim of this research project was to explore the benefits of interprofessional collaboration between Austrian physiotherapists and medical doctors creating red flags training.
This reflection was conducted within a bigger project aimed to develop new educational clinical cases of red flags. Over a time period of 18 months, weekly to monthly meetings with both professions were held. Within this timeframe a list of relevant pathologies for red flag screening was created, clinical cases based on real patients were developed and validated and thorough background information on serious pathologies was compiled. The focus of this abstract was put on the cooperation between physiotherapists and physicians. Discussions between representatives of both professions formed the basis of this reflection.
Five MDs, one Master student of Human Medicine and four PTs took part in this project. The meetings enabled a deeper understanding of the needs of the other professions and respect these when reasoning on decisions and providing information. Furthermore, the importance of “speaking the same language” when discussing alarming signs and symptoms efficiently, became apparent.
From the medical perspective, knowledge of the essential key factors needed for keep/refer decisions of physiotherapists was gained. Awareness was raised for the lack of access to diagnostic tools in physiotherapy and thus, the necessity to carry out these decisions with limited information.
From the physiotherapeutic point of view, the recognition was made that each profession needed to be open-minded for both collaborative work and feedback with the intention to improve communication as well as expertise. Moreover, the realisation was made that pathways to communicate red flags to MDs need to be more clearly defined.

Both medical as well as physiotherapeutic professions promote close collaboration in order to handle and improve the management of the increasing cases of serious pathologies. Throughout the project, knowledge of the respective other side was gained and open-mindedness for interdisciplinary work was emphasized. In future work, the desire and essentials for interdisciplinary communication could be studied.
This project implies, that collaboration between medical doctors and physiotherapists, in the recognition of serious pathologies, is crucial. Besides gaining knowledge in red flags screening, further training should aim to improve communication. The findings of the collaboration throughout this project will be utilized to improve the ability of red flag screening of Austrian physiotherapists via the development of an online training program.
OriginalspracheDeutsch (Österreich)
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 4 Juli 2024
VeranstaltungIFOMPT Conference - Basel, Schweiz
Dauer: 4 Juli 2024 → …


KonferenzIFOMPT Conference
Zeitraum4/07/24 → …

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