Physiotherapy treatment for stroke patients: A survey of current practice

C.M. Sackley, N.B. Lincoln

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Current approaches to the treatment of stroke patients by senior physiotherapists in the Trent Region of the UK were surveyed. Familiarity with other approaches, the choice of assessment method, the use of standards and the use of aids and appliances were also recorded. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sample of the respondents and a vignette presented to gain detailed information. Altogether, 121 senior therapists were identified, of whom 91 (75%) responded. The 'Bobath' approach was the most frequently used approach, being reported by 80% of the respondents. The 'functional approach' and the 'motor learning approach' were favoured by 10 and 4%, respectively. The reason for choosing a particular approach was put down to experience gained through practice, not the use of published research results. As in previous studies in Sweden and Australia, the physiotherapists found it difficult to describe a theoretical basis for their treatment. The regular use of a published standardised assessment was rare. Reticence in the use of standardised published measures and a reluctance to provide a theoretical basis for intervention limit the development of neurological physiotherapy. Comparison of centres using different approaches was not considered possible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996

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