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Assessment and documentation among physical therapists in Egypt

Abstract

Background

Standardized assessment is a legal and ethical professional requirement in clinical decision-making. Clinical guidelines emphasize the importance of clinical assessment and documentation to foster the implementation of evidence-based management and reduce unnecessary therapeutic costs. In developing countries like Egypt, healthcare may be suboptimal and is challenged by low budget and malpractices. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the association between assessment and documentation of physical therapy and Egyptian physical therapists’ demographics. In addition, therapists’ attitude toward the use of electronic medical record was also evaluated.

Materials and methods

An online and a paper-based survey was developed and tested for linguistic clarity before it was administrated to physical therapists.

Results

A total of 389 questionnaires were used for statistical analyses. The majority of the respondents (84.1%) always or often assessed their patients; however, almost half of them (44.7%) rarely or never used the assessment tools. Seventy-eight percent of the respondents always or often documented their examination findings. Electronic medical records were rarely or never used by 42.7% of the respondents, although almost all of them expressed their willingness to use them if they were available for free. More experienced male therapists with higher academic degrees were significantly but weakly associated with more frequent patient assessment (P<0.05). Furthermore, male junior therapists used assessment tools more frequently (P<0.05). None of the demographic variables was associated with documentation (P>0.05). For practice type, respondents worked at various clinical settings. No association between the type of practice and assessment or documentation was found (P>0.05).

Conclusion

The majority of Egyptian physical therapists assess patients informally without the use of standard tools. Although patients’ findings are documented, the use of electronic meical records is rare.

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Correspondence to Dr. Aliaa Rehan Youssef PhD.

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Youssef, A.R., Bakry, M.G. Assessment and documentation among physical therapists in Egypt. Bull Fac Phys Ther 21, 32–41 (2016). https://doi.org/10.4103/1110-6611.188024

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Keywords

  • assessment
  • documentation
  • musculoskeletal
  • physical therapy