Occupational therapy for upper limb post-stroke sensory impairments: a survey

Doyle, Susan, Bennett, Sally and Gustafsson, Louise (2013) Occupational therapy for upper limb post-stroke sensory impairments: a survey. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76 10: 434-442. doi:10.4276/030802213X13807217284143

Author Doyle, Susan
Bennett, Sally
Gustafsson, Louise
Title Occupational therapy for upper limb post-stroke sensory impairments: a survey
Journal name British Journal of Occupational Therapy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0308-0226
Publication date 2013-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.4276/030802213X13807217284143
Volume 76
Issue 10
Start page 434
End page 442
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher College of Occupational Therapists
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: Upper limb post-stroke sensory impairments have an impact on a significant number of stroke survivors. There is limited research in this area and it is unclear how occupational therapists are addressing sensory impairments in clinical practice. This study aimed to investigate the clinical practice patterns of occupational therapists, perceived barriers to providing interventions and information sources used when addressing upper limb post-stroke sensory impairments.

Methods: A survey was sent to 500 randomly selected occupational therapists in the United States.

Findings: The majority of the 145 respondents reported frequently assessing sensation, and half reported providing interventions for sensory impairments. Interventions primarily focused on providing passive sensory stimulation followed by compensatory strategies. Most therapists provided patient/caregiver education about safety. Therapists cited lack of knowledge and skills, patients’ short length of stay and lack of time as barriers to utilizing interventions. Most therapists reported not being up to date with current research and requested continuing education to support practice.

Conclusion: This survey established a profile of American occupational therapists’ practice with people with upper limb post-stroke sensory impairments. Therapists have a need for information and training in all aspects of the management of upper limb post-stroke sensory impairment. Further research, evaluating the effectiveness of interventions and exploring therapists’ clinical decision making when choosing interventions, is also needed.
Keyword Occupational therapy
Sensory impairment
Chronic stroke patients
Somatosensory performance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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