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Journal Article (Refereed)
March 2003

A clinical model for the assessment of posture and balance in people with stroke

Tyson, S & Desouza, L 2003, 'A clinical model for the assessment of posture and balance in people with stroke ', Disabil Rehabil.


Purpose: The lack of models to define and describe rehabilitation processes have often been identified as limiting research and the development of clinical practice. This study describes the development of a clinical model to address a key aspect of stroke physiotherapy - the assessment of posture and balance. Design: A focus group method was used. Participants were shown photographs of a typical stroke patient in sitting and standing positions and were asked What would you note if you were assessing the posture and balance of this patient? Answers were displayed on flip charts to allow immediate feedback about the accuracy and completeness of data. Analysis: Thematic content analysis. Participants: 27 experienced neurological physiotherapists (PT) in six focus groups Results: A complex reasoning process emerged to answer four main questions: What can the patient do? How does s/he do it? Why does s/he do it that way? To answer these questions physiotherapists established balance disability (by observing the patients ability to perform a series of increasingly demanding balance tasks), identified postural and movement impairments (by observing alignment and movement of body segments relative to each other and to the expected norm for that patient) and assessed muscle activity (by observation and palpation). Conclusions: Focus groups have been used to elicit a clinical model for the assessment of posture and balance, the content of which will be used to inform a new outcome measure.




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External Authors

DeSouza, LH

Publication Details

Journal Name
Disabil Rehabil

Vol 25, Iss 3