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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


CHAZEN, Lee-Anne  and  FRANZSEN, Denise. Expert opinion on splinting adult patients with neurological injuries. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2016, vol.46, n.2, pp.4-9. ISSN 2310-3833.

In the light of a lack of research evidence, this study explored expert opinion for splinting in adults with neurological injuries. An exploratory, descriptive, qualitative methodology was used with 14 occupational therapists, experienced in neuro-rehabilitation. Data were analysed based on a priori themes from two models of clinical practice:- • The Model of Practice Development: - themes indicate that most value was placed on personal knowledge gained from experience in the field and being able to individualise treatment for each patient. Procedural knowledge gained from clinical experience; reflection on protocols and working with and learning from others were seen as essential in developing skills required for splinting in adults with neurological injuries. • The Three Track Model of Clinical Reasoning: - Themes indicated that the effectiveness of the splints depended on the patients' context and response as well as the therapists' ability to adapt to their preferences and goals. Procedural reasoning and goals related to client factors should not be considered in isolation and each patient must be considered individually when prescribing splints. Considering the patients' context and the support and resources they have, is also essential. Outcomes in adults with neurological injuries should consider occupational performance and client satisfaction when evaluating effectiveness of splinting.

Keywords : Splinting; Adults with neurological dysfunction or conditions; Clinical reasoning; Professional development.

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