While one may not immediately realise this, the fact is that European regionalisation, within the larger context of globalisation, has predetermined the increasing necessity of standardised professional practice. In response to these twin forces, the legal profession, especially the European, is investigating the means by which to standardise the ethical guidelines and best practice framework of the profession, just as industrial and manufacturing organisations and professional bodies are working towards the articulation of a framework for the establishment of minimally acceptable quality standards.The medical profession and the physiotherapeutic one therein, cannot ignore the changing regional and global environment and just as the aforementioned are doing, it too, must respond to the increasing fluidity of national boundaries through the establishment of standardised professional guidelines and best practice models. Currently, and in specific reference to the practice of physiotherapy within the European Union, lack of standardised guidelines for practice is evident. Through a contrastive analysis of the professional guidelines for physiotherapeutic practice in both Germany and the United Kingdom, the ethical and legal differentials shall be highlighted, with the argument centring on the necessity for standardisation as a strategy for the establishment, and subsequent maintenance, of a best practice framework for the profession. ,...
ive analysis of the increasing import of the profession and existent guideline differentials as determined by curricular discrepancies and diverse professional supervisory regulations.
The Physiotherapeutic Profession in the Twenty-First Century
Advances in diagnostic medicine, concomitant with the noted increase in musculoskeletal problems, have propelled the physiotherapeutic profession to the forefront of drug-free, rehabilitative, curative and pain management therapy (Pinnington, Miller and Stanley, 2004; Grimmer et al., 1999; van den Hombergh et al., 2005). Within the contextual framework of the technological advances witnessed in the latter decades of the twentieth century, inclusive of IT, an ever escalating percentage of the employed populations have had to spend long work hours at their computers, assuming positions which eventually lead to musculoskeletal problems. The most common of these are "cervical and lumbar spine pain, shoulder pain and lower limb trauma," (Clemence and Seamark, 2003: 579), not to mention the increasing prevalence of low back pain (Pinnington, Miller and Stanley, 2004: 372). The aforementioned conditions have, not only emphasised the efficacy of physiotherapy as both a curative and rehabilitative approach but, have enforced renewed respect for this particular health profession upon the medical one, evidenced in escalating GP referral for physiotherapy and, within the framework of the UK National Health Service, reforms designed to facilitate immediate access to such treatment (Clemence and Seamark, 2003: 578-579).
Physiotherapy is an integral component of curative and rehabilitative medicine and the work environment of the twenty-first century, insofar as it builds upon and compounds those of the latter decades of the twentieth