Current clinical practice in 24-hour postural management and the impact on carers and service users with severe neurodisability

May Stinson, Shelley Crawford, Emma Madden

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Abstract

Introduction: The clinical benefits of 24-hour postural management are widely recognised by occupational therapists, but little is known about its impact on service users and carers or whether clinical practice is consistent across regions. The aim of this research was to investigate the use of 24-hour postural management by occupational therapists and to explore its impact on service users with neurodisability and their carers. Methods: Quantitative and qualitative methods were employed in two phases: (a) online survey with 96 occupational therapists across one UK region, with data analysed by descriptive statistics and correlations; (b) focus groups with service users and/or carers (n = 9), with data analysed by thematic analysis. Results: Findings showed moderate positive correlation between frequency of use and (a) all key intervention skills and (b) knowledge of night-time positioning (p < 0.001). Moderate positive correlations were found between level of training and (a) assessment skills and (b) knowledge of night-time positioning (p < 0.001). The overarching theme from focus groups was ‘reliance on individualised equipment’, with overwhelming frustration from lack of support, loss of identity, equipment cost, insufficient focus on preventative strategies and accessibility issues. Conclusion: A clinical practice guideline, including training, is crucial to direct practice. Providers must engage with service users and carers to address their frustrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Early online date5 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Postural management
  • equipment
  • occupational therapists
  • service users

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