Q&A with Andrea Goldstein: Delivering more personalized rehabilitation therapy

Dr Andrea Goldstein

Pictured: Andrea Goldstein, health services manager and physiotherapist at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation and Arthritis Centre at the QEII.

Andrea Goldstein is a health services manager and physiotherapist at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation and Arthritis Centre at the QEII. She describes the province's most specialized rehab centre as a place where people learn to "function in a new way and return to their lives" following a life-altering medical event or injury. 

"Rehabilitation therapy supports patients in gaining as much functional activity as possible. In most cases, they will have a new normal, and our goal is to determine how we can give them that quality of life back." 

The equipment that clinicians use for each patient’s unique rehabilitation therapy is key to their progress. With support from QEII Foundation donors, there is an opportunity to improve access to cutting-edge equipment that will help improve patient outcomes. 

Q: How will patients benefit from bringing new technology to the Rehab Centre?

The equipment and technology that we can acquire with donor support is more innovative and efficient in care delivery. We can gain better information and data, influencing clinical decisions and treatment plans, which lead to improved patient outcomes and improved functioning.

One of the new projects is a Balance and Mobility Lab, where patients may learn to walk again. The technology gives accurate information about how a patient is walking, identifying weaknesses, and how that is limiting their movement. We can see their treatment response and adjust in real time. 

New technology will also better engage patients, showing them progress and improvements. It can be enlightening and motivating for patients to be involved and understand the improvements they can make at that moment. 

These upgrades will benefit most of the Rehab Centre's patient populations, as well as our clinicians, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physiatrists, orthotics, prosthetists, and podiatrists. Ultimately, it will change the way we deliver therapy. 

Q: What brings patients to the Rehab Centre?

Patients require rehab following a stroke, spinal cord injury, major trauma that could include broken bones, burns or a traumatic head injury, an amputation, as well as patients living with neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease. 

Five hundred patients are admitted to the Rehab Centre annually, with approximately 30,000 outpatient visits.

Q: How will new equipment address current gaps in treatment delivery and access?  

The clinical care at the Rehab Centre is exceptional, but we are lagging in advanced technology and innovation. We need more equipment that matches the quality of clinical care patients receive. It can be difficult when you know a patient has potential — and their treatment could be enhanced with greater access to the right equipment. 

The Grace Hansen Therapeutic Pool is an excellent example. When it closed due to needing much-needed repairs, we knew that our patients were missing out. Thanks to QEII Foundation donors, the new pool opened in 2016, and it's a much-loved space. The modern, cheerful environment brightens everyone's mood, and patients look forward to doing therapy there. That’s what we want to accomplish with the Rehab Refresh project. 

Q: How can donor support impact patients? 

There can be some dark days for patients who have gone through an event that brings them to rehab. It is a process of gaining hope that life can go on and be meaningful again. Rehab helps them realize they can contribute to their family, community, and society; for some people, they can return to work in some capacity. And that's what you are doing when you support this initiative — impacting patients during their journey as they regain skills and hope to return to their lives. 


Learn more about the Rehab Refresh project and find out how you can get involved: https://qe2foundation.ca/current-priorities/rehab-refresh