A Structure for Recording Qualitative Observations associated with a Paediatric Assessment

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Occupational therapists often need to report their observations of the client's behaviours and emotional responses during an assessment procedure. This is because the observations are useful clinically and have relevance to the strengths, needs and goals of clients and/or because the observations may qualify information obtained from a more formal assessment. Sometimes these observations are needed during research. Therapists are cautious in reporting this type of material, which may be clinically relevant but does not easily conform to conventional notions of objective data. Formalising methods of recording these observations may increase confidence in reporting.

A method of recording qualitative observations of behaviours, associated with the administration of a self-report questionnaire for young children, was devised. This method was used with 72 children, not referred for therapy, as part of a project to develop a self-report play questionnaire.

This paper describes the terms selected and the structure devised for recording qualitative observations. The effectiveness of the terms and structure in the research situation with a play questionnaire is reported. Suggestions about their possible value for use with existing paediatric assessments are given. A standard method of recording frequency and types of behavioural and emotional responses during assessment might provide a useful resource for therapists.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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