The role of the physical therapist in hospice care

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 1993 Sep-Oct;10(5):32-5. doi: 10.1177/104990919301000510.


The role of the physical therapist in hospice care is different from the role the therapist plays when a member of a rehabilitation team. This article will address the need for a fundamental role change and offer suggestions for ways physical therapists can contribute to the care of the hospice patient. In working with hospice patients, therapists must, for the most part, change from a controlling role to one of listener and problem-solver. In this manner, therapists can: Assist the patient to maintain functional abilities for as long as possible; Reduce the burden of care for the caregivers; Assist in pain control. Physical therapists can provide hospice nurses with valuable assistance in caring for hospice patients.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Hospice Care*
  • Humans
  • Pain Management
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*