Off the Topic
Welcome to the first “Off the Topic” issue of Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation (TGR). For more than 30 years, TGR has featured “topical” articles on one particular subject matter related to rehabilitation of the geriatric patient. While we are committed to continuing the “topical” journal format, we will periodically feature a potpourri of fascinating research articles from clinicians all over the world. The reason behind this new format is that we have recently been receiving a large number of excellent unsolicited submissions from many devoted rehabilitation professionals from all over the world. These dedicated clinicians have conducted the research studies, analyzed the outcomes, and now present the results to us in this journal. What a gift for us to be able to sit with our coffee, read these articles, and then take what we have learned to apply to our patients in our home town. In addition, we feel a need to share this information in a proper publication format. The rise of predatory publications, which charge for getting important information published, is an ever-increasing problem for the rehabilitation professions. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation offering more spots for unsolicited articles will allow more nonpredatory works to reach the interested readers for free.
This issue contains articles from different countries including the United States, Turkey, Poland, and Korea. Topics in this issue range from the use of the Sharpened Romberg as a screening tool to the use of the PhyStat 7, a new test battery for characterizing physical status of older adults. The LDUKES, a standardized assessment that measures an individual's reported use of judgment in relation to fall risk, is also discussed. If you have patients who ambulate with 1 cane but do not quite feel confident or safe, you will want to read the article on using 1 versus 2 canes. If you treat patients who have had a stroke, you will want to read the article discussing 3 characteristics that are common among these patients who benefit maximally from intensive inpatient stroke rehabilitation. Most rehabilitation professionals can surmise that body mass affects balance, mobility, and physical capacity, but in this issue, you can know because research supports it. Do you have a homebound patient with or without diabetes? You may want to include sensory testing on the soles of your patient's feet. Have you ever wondered about the effects of a home-based, online cognitive rehabilitation program for your patient who suffered from a stroke? One study in this issue concludes that among older patients, the greatest improvement in performance of activities of daily living occurred with patients who had little or no family support at home. What a treasure it is to read these articles and apply tidbits of knowledge to our practice as rehabilitation professionals!
We would love to hear your feedback on this issue format. We feel that this format will appeal to a variety of readers since it covers an assortment of rehabilitation topics. We will continue to have topical issues, as we always have, but will plan to have periodic “Off the Topic” issues as well. Also, if you would like to make suggestions for future topics or plan ahead to be an editor of a topical issue, please let us know. We love sharing with you what fellow rehabilitation professionals have learned about geriatric rehabilitation. It is such an honor for TGR to receive so many outstanding submissions. We thank you, our TGR readers, for keeping this journal vital through your reading. We thank you, our authors, for your outstanding contributions and research in the dynamic area of geriatric rehabilitation. We hope you enjoy this issue.
—Wendy P. James, PT
Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation