Allied health professionals utilization of standard measures: Assessing measurement practice in physical medicine and rehabilitation

Jason H. Raad*, Christina Papadimitriou, Neil Jordan, Allen W. Heinemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hundreds of standard measures have been developed to assess a diverse array of conditions, characteristics, and outcomes essential to the practice of medical rehabilitation. These measures provide a common metric needed to coordinate care, communicate with stakeholders, and assess treatment efficacy. Allied health professionals typically rely on functional measures that correspond to their discipline and scope of practice, yet functional outcomes may be dependent on psychological and social (psychosocial) factors that affect a client's capacity to engage and actively participate in their care. The purpose of this study was to describe and compare the use of standard measures by allied health professionals, assess attitudes and beliefs regarding the use of these measures, and identify opportunities to enhance the utilization of these measures in regular clinical practice. To these ends, a 144-item survey was developed and administered to a national sample of 92 clinicians (physical and occupational therapy, recreational therapy, speech-language pathology, psychology and social work). Results indicate that a majority of participants reported using both functional and psychosocial measures. The three most assessed domains across disciplines were physical function (74%), activities of daily living (67%), and vital signs (57%), while speech and vocational assessments were measured less frequently. Utilization of psychological and social measures overall ranged from 39% for measures of community participation to 14% for work and economic outcomes. As function often plays a critical role in recovery, opportunities to enhance care may be realized by using a more comprehensive assessment strategy that includes both functional and psychosocial measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of allied health
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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