SMA Physiotherapy Masterclass: Learning from Europe's Best

SMA Physiotherapy Masterclass: Learning from Europe's Best

In February 2023, SMA Ireland spearheaded a pioneering initiative that saw physiotherapists from across Europe attend an SMA physiotherapy masterclass at University Medical Centre Utrecht. This masterclass was part of a collaboration with SMA Europe, with the support of SMA treatment innovators Novartis Gene Therapies and Roche Pharmaceuticals.

The inaugural 2.5 day workshop saw 25 physiotherapists attend, including eight from Ireland. The Irish physiotherapists included representatives from both the public and private sectors, from across Ireland.

The course covered the three main SMA phenotypes, and incorporated both respiratory and contractual management. The course was overseen by Professors Bart Bartels and Ludo van der Pol of the Dutch SMA Centre, with accreditation from the Dutch Association of Physical Therapy and the Dutch Association of Paediatric Physical Therapy.

Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, with many praising the structure of the course and the quality of the instruction. One attendee noted, "It was great to hear about how they are progressing research in the area of SMA and how their findings are applicable to us all working day to day with children with SMA, and even some info to bring back to our colleagues."

SMA Ireland plans to follow up with a series of workshops to be held later in 2023, where local physiotherapists will be invited to attend and course delegates will have the opportunity to share their learning.

This is just one example of the work SMA Ireland is doing to improve the lives of individuals with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. By partnering with experts across Europe and providing access to top-notch training, SMA Ireland is helping to advance the field of SMA care and support.

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