Establishing Best Practice in Seating Assessment for Children With Physical Disabilities Using Qualitative MethodologiesBy Wright, Clare; Casey, Jackie; Porter-Armstrong, Alison; Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 34-47
Publication Date: January 2010
Study undertaken to identify best practice in seating assessment for children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, or acquired injuries who fail to develop age appropriate postural control. The qualitative study employed two strands: (1) an observation of 4 therapists performing 6 children’s seating assessments at regional centers in northern England, Scotland, and Ireland to capture routine seating assessment practice, during which observed assessment components were recorded on an 83-item checklist derived from existing published literature, and supported by video recording; and (2) a Delphi technique consisting of 3 rounds of electronically transmitted questionnaires to obtain opinions on best practice seating assessment from 7 expert therapists, in which themes were rated by respondents on importance, desirability, and feasibility, and a 70 percent consensus was sought on all rated subthemes. In the observation strand, two assessment items – problem identification and prescription – were observed on every occasion. All other items occurred zero to five times. Standardized assessment methods were not observed. In the Delphi strand, themes identified were “assessment process,” “assessment approach,” and “broader issues.” Consensus was reached on importance and desirability of “assessment process” and “assessment approach” subthemes. Variation in seating assessment practice occurred between regions, yet there was agreement on theoretical best practice components; this was thought to reflect the complexity of seating assessment in reality. The need for, and benefits of, a consistent approach was clearly identified. Based on study results, the authors recommend that future research be directed toward developing a best practice assessment tool which links assessment findings to appropriate seating solutions.
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )