Occupational therapists’ perceptions of requirements for competent upper limb hypertonicity practice

Colclough, Sarah, Copley, Jodie, Turpin, Merril, Justins, Emma and De Monte, Rachel (2014) Occupational therapists’ perceptions of requirements for competent upper limb hypertonicity practice. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-8. doi:10.3109/09638288.2014.972585

Author Colclough, Sarah
Copley, Jodie
Turpin, Merril
Justins, Emma
De Monte, Rachel
Title Occupational therapists’ perceptions of requirements for competent upper limb hypertonicity practice
Journal name Disability and Rehabilitation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0963-8288
Publication date 2014-10-17
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3109/09638288.2014.972585
Open Access Status
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: Hypertonicity practice is challenging due to the high degree of variability in presentation within and among clients. There is limited high-level evidence supporting interventions in practice. This study gathered therapists’ views on requirements for competent practice. This information could be used to improve training in this area of practice to benefit clients.

Methods: A pragmatic qualitative design was used. Five therapists who had undergone specialised training in hypertonicity practice were interviewed. Qualitative description was used to analyse data.

Results: Therapists discussed (1) complexity, (2) time and energy and (3) requirements for competent practice as important aspects of hypertonicity practice. The first two themes illustrate the intensive nature of hypertonicity practice. The third theme encompasses the knowledge, skills, clinical actions and decision-making therapists require for competent practice.

Conclusion: Participants perceived that there is a dynamic relationship between knowledge and skills. They also believed that competent hypertonicity practice requires a client-centred approach and individualisation of interventions. Future training needs to focus on the development of therapists’ clinical reasoning, which was required to individualise interventions and promote positive client outcomes.

Implications for Rehabilitation

• Training in upper limb hypertonicity management in a clinical setting can assist therapists to understand the factors contributing to the complexity of this practice area.

• Training in a clinical setting is required to allow development of the range of skills needed for competent practice as it provides consistent exposure to clients over time.

• Practicing in a client-centred manner and making individualised intervention decisions should be emphasized as an overarching framework for developing relevant knowledge and skills in this area of practice.

• Future research needs to focus on identifying training techniques that will promote therapists’ competence in decision making when working in upper limb hypertonicity practice.
Keyword Competence
Upper limb hypertonicity
Upper motor neuron syndrome
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 17 October 2014.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Created: Mon, 02 Feb 2015, 12:44:13 EST by Dr Jodie Copley on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences