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149 Tendonitis making my shoulder ache! Which modality treatment can I choose?
  1. Fang-Yu Lin,
  2. Yuan-Wen Liu,
  3. Chien-Yu Yeh,
  4. Ting-Yuan Sheu,
  5. Jing-Lan Yang
  1. National Taiwan University Hospital, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Division of Physical Therapy, Taipei, Taiwan


Shoulder pain, the common upper limb musculoskeletal disorders in modern people, often results from tendonitis and affects the upper limb movement and daily functions. The prioritized conservative treatment is physical therapy combined various modalities and exercises. Among the modalities in our hospital, we offer ultrasound and low-level laser therapy covered by national health insurance, or self- funded shockwave and high-energy laser therapy. Patients might lean toward self-funded modalities based on internet information or recommendations. However, they might not obtain clear information about these modalities, particularly regarding the research evidence.

In order to help patients choosing the most suitable treatment and allow physical therapists to efficiently letting patients know what they need, five physical therapists collaborated on ’Tendonitis making my shoulder ache! Which modality treatment can I choose?’ A visually informative Medical Decision Aid (MDA) was developed, outlining the principles of application, possible feelings during the treatment, pros and cons, side effects, contraindications, and precautions. Research evidence on treatment efficacy in shoulder tendonitis, like treatment frequency and comparative results, was included. This prevented disputes arising from excessive expectations. The effectiveness of Shared Decision Making was also evaluated for patients and therapists respectively, as a reference for future modifications.

Preliminary results indicated that after interviews, most patients still wished to confirm their treatment choices with physicians, which might be related to Taiwan’s healthcare culture. The interviews prompted patients to contemplate the pros and cons of various treatments, their personal concerns, and the issues to discuss with their physicians. Patients responded positively to the efforts of staff who also believed the MDA was a convenient tool to communicate with patients and to enhance physician- patient relationships.

As new evidences of efficacy or new modality treatment options emerge in the future, continuous updates should be made to provide the necessary information for patients‘ needs.

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