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The status of gait assessment among physiotherapists in the United Kingdom

Toro, B, Nester, CJ and Farren, PC 2003, 'The status of gait assessment among physiotherapists in the United Kingdom' , Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 84 (12) , pp. 1878-1884.

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OBJECTIVES: To evaluate how physiotherapists are trained in and use clinically orientated gait assessment tools and instrumented gait analysis, and to identify if a need exists for a standardized methodology. DESIGN: Survey. SETTING: UK National Health Service. PARTICIPANTS: Physiotherapists working with a variety of patient groups in 210 randomly selected Health Care Trusts. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Amount of gait assessment training, frequency of gait laboratory use, types and frequency of standardized gait assessment tools used, and expressed need for a gait assessment tool in clinical practice. RESULTS: A total of 1826 (43.5%) physiotherapists responded. Management of abnormal gait constituted a major aspect of physiotherapy practice; yet, there was no systematic use of standardized gait assessment tools. Gait video images were typically collected and analyzed without the use of standardized protocols. Only 23.1% of all respondents had a patient assessed in a gait laboratory. Clinicians indicated that they need training in gait assessment (66.4%) and desire guidance at a national level. Exactly 91.8% of physiotherapists requested a new gait assessment tool that can be used easily and quickly within a busy schedule without compromising reliability and validity. CONCLUSIONS: Gait assessment plays a pivotal role for physiotherapists managing gait problems. The challenge for developers of gait assessment tools is to find a balance between the practicalities of use and scientific merit.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gait, observation, outcome assessment (health care), physical therapy, questionnaires, rehabilitation
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 00039993
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2007 14:51
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2015 00:02

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