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Factors that Influence the Clinical Decision-making of Rehabilitation Professionals in Long-term Care Settings

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The purpose of this qualitative research was to evaluate the reasoning of clinicians practicing in long-term care facilities and to explore factors influencing their professional development. Eighteen participants were recruited from eight clinical sites and included seven occupational therapists, eight physical therapists, and three speech therapists distributed across three groups relative to experience. Non-participant observation and videotape of therapist–patient interactions were used in semi-structured interviews with each participant. Qualitative data analysis software was used during a process of open and axial coding, followed by thematic analysis. The facilitory and inhibitory factors that affect clinical reasoning and professional development were identified. Rehabilitation professionals in long-term care demonstrated clinical reasoning within the context of patient-centered goals. Well-developed and explicit programs for mentorship, professional development, and continuing education fostered their clinical reasoning abilities. Participants perceived that these factors were vital to achieving optimal patient outcomes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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