Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 243–244 | Cite as

Teaching how to improve activities and participation of elderly subjects: the carelessness of the Italian Academia shown by the national qualification for physiotherapists

  • Roberto GattiEmail author
  • Matteo Paci
  • Stefano Vercelli
  • Marco BacciniEmail author
Letter to the Editor

The prevalence of disability worldwide is estimated to be greater than 15 %, and it is growing also due to population aging and global increase in chronic health conditions [1]. Geriatrics and rehabilitation are the two main health disciplines involved in the care of older persons and they have in common that they are concerned more on promoting optimization of function than treating diseases [2]. Hence, geriatric education plays a central role in the formative training of physiotherapists (PTs). The importance of training physiotherapists who are not only skilled in physical medicine but also in the specific rehabilitative needs of older patients is recognized around the world and by accredited programs where expert PTs with the appropriate academic skills are appointed as professors of physiotherapy.

In Italy, there are 37 universities offering a bachelor degree in physiotherapy but only two Italian PTs are university professors. This is largely because in Italy the so called “Allied...


Ally Health Profession Scientific Sector Scientific Level Rehabilitation Team Bibliometric Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflict of interests

All the authors but one (M.P.) applied for the 2012 national certification in the sector dedicated to AHPs.


  1. 1.
    WHO. World Report on disability 2011. Available at: Accessed July 23, 2014
  2. 2.
    High KP, Clayton CP, Woolard N, Regenstreif DI, Lundebjerg N, Hazzard WR (2002) Expanding geriatrics into subspecialty internal medicine healthcare, research and education: caring for older adults and the T. Franklin Williams Career Development Awards. Am J Med 113(6):533–536CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Paci M, Plebani G (2013) Scientific publication productivity of Italian physiotherapists. Ital J Physiother 3:170–173Google Scholar
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    Lankhorst GL, Franchignoni F (2001) The ‘impact factor’—an explanation and its application to rehabilitation journals. Clin Rehabil 15:115–118CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Bibliometric indexes for the national scientific qualification to function as associate professor [cited 2014 Jul 23]. National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes. Available at: Accessed July 23, 2014
  6. 6.
    Gatti R, Paci M, Vercelli S, Baccini M (2014) Has the Italian Academia missed an opportunity? Phys Ther 94(9):1358–1360CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Analysis and Rehabilitation of Motor Function, Neuroscience DivisionSan Raffaele HospitalMilanItaly
  2. 2.Unit of Functional RehabilitationAzienda USL 4PratoItaly
  3. 3.Unit of Occupational Rehabilitation and ErgonomicsSalvatore Maugeri Foundation–IRCCSVerunoItaly
  4. 4.Motion Analysis Laboratory, Unit of Functional RehabilitationAzienda Sanitaria di FirenzeFlorenceItaly
  5. 5.Motion Analysis Laboratory“Piero Palagi” HospitalFlorenceItaly

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