One of the first steps in the prescription of a wheelchair for a client, after the interview and information gathering, is the hands on assessment. The hands on assessment is crucial as it provides key information necessary for matching client needs with product parameters.
What should the hands on assessment include?
- Observation of the client in his/her existing equipment, if applicable
- A full mat evaluation in both supine and sitting, completed on a firm surface.
The hands on assessment allows the therapist to determine a multitude of information about the client, including: sitting posture; range of motion; muscle strength; tone; skin integrity; balance; and endurance. This assessment provides information regarding the presence or absence of pelvic obliquity, pelvic rotation, anterior pelvic tilt, and posterior pelvic tilt, and whether these postures are fixed or flexible. In addition, the hands on assessment provides information as to how much trunk support is required by your client and whether or not lateral support is needed.
Click on the following links for a videos that I found on You Tube that provide the “how to” for a mat evaluation completed in supine and in sitting. The lengths of the videos are 6 minutes and 5 minutes, respectively.
As always, please provide your comments, questions, and suggestions regarding Clinical Corner. Please email me at Sheilagh.Sherman@sunmed.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
BA, BHScOT, MHM, OT Reg. (Ont.) - Clinical Education Manager, Canada
Sheilagh Sherman joined Sunrise Medical Canada in 2010 as a Clinical Educator. Prior to joining Sunrise, Sheilagh gained extensive clinical experience working in a variety of settings, including neurological rehabilitation, complex continuing care, and community rehabilitation. As the Clinical Education Manager, Sheilagh is a clinical resource for therapists across Canada involved in seating and mobility. She leads workshops, seminars, and webinars on the clinical aspects of seating and mobility. In addition, Sheilagh has presented at national and international conferences on seating and mobility.
Sheilagh also has an educational background that makes her well suited to the role of Clinical Education Manager. Sheilagh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto in 1988, which enables her to understand healthcare policy and policy changes. Sheilagh graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy) degree from McMaster University in 1994. In 2012, Sheilagh earned a Certificate in Adult Education/Staff Training from Seneca College. She applies adult learning principles to the workshops she leads. Finally, she also has a Master of Health Management (MHM) degree from McMaster University after graduating in 2015. Courses that Sheilagh completed during the MHM degree, such as Knowledge Translation, Evaluating Sources of Evidence, and Quality & Safety in Healthcare, assist Sheilagh in using an evidence-based approach in her work.
In her free time, Sheilagh enjoys running, in addition to practicing yoga.