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The global physical therapy field meets in Taiwan to share successes

The Taiwan Physical Therapy Association (TPTA), NTU Department of Physical Therapy, and China Medical University Department of Physical Therapy jointly hosted the Sixth Annual World Confederation of Physical Therapy- Asia Western Pacific Region, WCPT-AWP and the 12th Annual Asia Confederation of Physical Therapy, ACPT. The events were hosted at the Nanshan Life Insurance Training Center in Taichung. The Host Committee was Chaired by Professor Su-Fang Cheng, Chairperson of the Taiwan Physical Therapy Association and of the NTU Department of Physical Therapy faculty, while the Committee Academic Director was NTU Department of Physical Therapy Chairperson Dr. Chao-Yi Tsao.

The World Confederation of Physical Therapy has 106 member associations representing 350,000 physical therapists, and Asia-Pacific represents the second largest region, with 26 member associations, extending throughout Central Asia to the Asia Pacific region, and hosting regional conferences every four years, which is held for the first time this year in Taiwan. The Asia Confederation of Physical Therapy, ACPT, was founded April 27, 1980 in Taipei with founding member associations from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan, and holds triennial regional meetings, designed to enhance professional development of physical therapy in the Asia Pacific region, and since the first triennial was held in Taipei in 1993, this is the second time Taiwan has held the hosting rights.

More than 32 member associations were represented, with distinguished guests including the Chairperson of the WCPT, Professor Marylin Moffat, WCPT-AWP Director Dr. Gillian Webb, ACPT Chairman and Cathay Hospital Physical Therapist Wen-Jen Chien and Conference Chair Professor Shin-Da Lee. The Conference participants received warm welcomes from Minister of Health and Welfare Dr. Wen-Ta Chiu, who strongly supported the hosting of this conference, and remarks from Legislative Yuan Speaker Jin-Pyng Wang. NTU President Dr. Pan-Chyr Yang as well as CMC Dean of Medicine Shangchun Chang, both met with WCPT Chairperson Professor Marylin Moffat, expressing mutual support for physical therapy development and educational efforts. Host City Mayor Dr. Jason Hu personally attended the opening ceremonies and presented the distinguished guests with Taiwan specialties, while CMC Physical Therapy Department Patron and Mayor of Tainan, Dr. Ching-Teh Lai, presented the guests with traditional gifts.

“Physical Therapy for Health” was the theme of this year’s Conference, with a total of 161 papers presented, and 581 posters, along with six practical training workshops. Themes included assistive technologies, sports and physical therapy, pediatric and geriatric physical therapy, the musculo-skeletal system, women’s health, neurology, and psychiatric health, biophysics, and kinesiology. Dr. Robert Herbert of the New South Wales University, presented on Biomechanical and Clinical Research into Muscle Stretching and WCPT-AWP Chairperson Prof. Gillian Webb spoke on Physiotherapy Education and Practice: the Need for Regulation and Accreditation.

Two of the conference themes were particularly regarded by the attendees, one was the presentation by WCPT Chairperson Moffat and Taiwan Association of Physical Therapy Chairperson Prof. Su-Fang Cheng on “ the Professional Education Revolution in Asian Pacific Regional Physical Therapy”, and the second was from African regional representative Professor Joyce Mothabeng on “Impacts of WCPT’s International Strategies for Physical Therapy Professionalism and Global Health”.

NTU Physical Therapy doctoral candidate Wen-Chieh Yang won the outstanding oral presentation award for his report on “Effects of Dual-Task on Rotation of Axial Segments During Turning in People with Parkinson Disease”, while the first place among poster presentations went to NTU Physical Therapy Department Master’s candidate Ms. Nai-Chia Yao, whose poster was on “Dopamine-Related Genes and Developmental Variation: Mental and Motor Development in Preterm and Term Infants”.

The Conference coincided with World Physical Therapy Day, September 8th, and a banquet was held at the closing evening, with more than 300 distinguished guests in attendance, hosted by CMC President Jung-tsun Huang. During the banquet, WCPT Chairperson Dr. Marylin Moffat was awarded the Rose Stone Award, in appreciation for her more than thirty tireless years of devotion to supporting the professional and educational development of the physical therapy field in Taiwan. The NTU Department of Physical Therapy faculty members present offered a toast to the dignitaries and distinguished guests, which the audience found delightful, followed by physical therapist Wen-Jen Chien displaying the traditional Chinese zodiac signs approach to calesthenics.

Taiwan Physical Therapy Association Chair and NTU Physical Therapy Department Chair Prof. Su-Fang Cheng noted that since 1982 when Taiwan joined the WCPT, this is the first time Taiwan has had the privilege of hosting this important international conference, signifying that Taiwan’s physical therapists have not only become closer to the pulse of the world’s physical therapy profession, but also achieved recognition from the WCPT for our contributions, many of which may be found online at http://www.wcpt.org/node/102187, where you can gain a glimpse into the extensive efforts and successes of Taiwan’s physical therapy world.

Chinese version