An integRatEd framework for domiciliary healthcare SkillS development.


Master 's program in “Home and distance rehabilitation supported by ICTs”


The Master’s program in “Home and distance rehabilitation supported by ICTs” got underway on May 10th at the University of Genoa.

logo erasmusThe Program, funded by the European Social Fund 2014-2020, targets graduated physiotherapists who would like to improve their competencies in the field of homecare.
This initiative has been promoted by SI4LIFE, in collaboration with the University of Genoa, starting from the preliminary results of the CARESS project about the specific gaps in the skills of physiotherapists in the field of homecare for older people.

In a preparatory lesson, Serena Alvino (CARESS Project Coordinator) introduced to the 20 selected students the main features of CARESS project. She explained that the Master’s was designed on the basis of the definition of physiotherapists’ “skills gap”.

Students were involved in a problem-based activity where they had to propose a ranking of the learning outcomes targeted by the Program with respect to their relevance for the professional activity. Knowledge, skills and competencies were both transversal to different homecare professionals and specific to physiotherapists. Initially, all of them proposed an individual ranking; then 3 small groups had to negotiate a new one and finally a common shared ranking was agreed upon by the whole class.

The process which took the class to the final ranking has been subject to an analysis that offers interesting conclusions. Two out of three groups gave priority to transversal competencies, justifying their choice on the importance of a “patient-centered” approach, based on a multidisciplinary assessment which takes into account a new view of older adults’ frailty and active and healthy ageing. The third group gave priority to the learning outcomes targeting physiotherapist-specific skill gaps; many of them justified this choice on the fact that they usually work alone, so they would give relevance to competencies that have an effective impact on their professional practice.

The top learning outcomes in the final ranking among the total of 16 possible learning outcomes looked as follows:

  1. competencies for working in team and collaborating and cooperating with other professionals;
  2. competencies for building, monitoring and evaluating a personalized rehabilitation plan in team;
  3. competencies about community-dwelling older adults’ primary care;
  4. basic psychological and relational competencies;
  5. knowledge about what frailty is and skills about how to detect and prevent it.

In the lowest positions we find competencies for managing specific tools, report models and documentation, even supported by ICTs, in order to effectively report their activity and share information about the patient homecare with other professionals.