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Perceived Level of Disability: Factors Influencing Therapists' Judgment for Clients With Cerebral Palsy

By Mehdi Rassafiani, Jenny Ziviani and Sylvia Rodger


ObjectiveThis study aimed to understand the factors that influence therapists' perceived level of disability with regard to clients with cerebral palsy and association of these factors with their decisions about intervention options.MethodsOne hundred and ten hypothetical case vignettes were developed, and therapists were asked to identify the level of disability and the intervention option for each case. Eighteen experienced occupational therapists with an average of 10 years' clinical experience participated in this study.ResultsTherapists mostly used two factors to identify the level of disability; namely, severity of spasticity and limitation in gross movement. The factors driving intervention options also included severity of spasticity, but this was coupled with wrist and finger posture instead of gross movement. Finally, there was no association between the therapists' perception of client disability and their decision about intervention options.ConclusionsThis finding suggests that therapists utilise different decision making processes when determining the level of disability and identifying intervention options for clients with cerebral palsy

Publisher: Elsevier. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S1569-1861(08)70008-1
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