Welcome to the first issue of the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy (JGPT) published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW)! Our new cover reflects the Section on Geriatrics' commitment to facilitate optimal aging for the clients and patients we care for by using green as a color signifying life and growth and positive images of aging adults who are actively engaged in the process of living. The Editorial Board and I are as committed as we've ever been to make current clinical research findings accessible to clinicians, students, academicians, professional colleagues, and researchers; the design team and editors at LWW have created a format within the Journal that will do just that!
Two additional efforts are nearing completion: a complete redesign of the JGPT Web site that includes search capacity for archived issues and better information for prospective authors and, as of March 15, an automated online submission and manuscript-tracking process. This is one of the most important outcomes of our transition to LWW as publisher. Manuscript submissions have increased substantially in the last several years such that the previous system (set up by this Editor, who is far from a technical whiz) was challenged to keep track of the review and revision process for each and every manuscript, creating frustration for authors and editors alike. The new system allows authors to check on manuscript status and significantly improves the efficiency of the review and revision process. In addition, accepted manuscripts will become available as an “e-pub” ahead of print on the JGPT Web site, making them available to electronic indexes and search engines in a more timely manner. This change will substantially enhance our service to both authors who want to share their work and readers who want to use it.
The articles in this issue expose us to a variety of issues that impact on physical therapy care and rehabilitation of aging adults, some practical and others more theoretical. Kim and colleagues provide evidence of the efficacy of physical therapy intervention provided via home care visits based on changes in function documented on the OASIS instrument. Boeer and colleagues from Germany report on the usefulness of the Posturomed oscillatory platform on postural control and balance performance for aging adults with osteoarthritis attending “hip school.” Bohannon and DePasquale evaluate the validity and reliability of the physical functioning subscale of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey and discuss its potential usefulness as an outcome indicator for physical therapy interventions. Diehl and Pidcoe add to our understanding of efficacy of an older adult's response to perturbation by exploring the ability to stabilize foveal gaze (focus on a fixed target) as its potential relationship to step latency. Kozol and colleagues examine the ability of persons with hemiplegia to successfully “bridge,” from the perspective of motor control and muscle performance. Abe and colleagues describe the impact of slow walk with restricted blood flow of lower extremity training (KAATSU) on muscle size and strength, functional activity, and aerobic capacity in aging adults. In the final article, Wert and colleagues consider the impact of type of residence on functional activity, fall occurrence, and concern about falling among aging adults. This collection of articles clearly illustrates the variety of challenges, conditions, and concerns that impact the physical therapy care of aging adults.
Michelle M. Lusardi