Attitudes Toward Family-Centered Care and Clinical Decision Making in Early Intervention Among Physical Therapists
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Family-centered care is the mandated service delivery model in early intervention. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of physical therapists toward family-centered care and to describe clinical decision making factors in determining frequency and duration of service. A convenience sample of 25 physical therapists working in early intervention participated in a mail survey. Therapists completed a modified version of the Measures of Processes of Care for Service Providers (MPOC-SP) and the Physical Therapist Questionnaire. Mean subscale scores on the modified version of the MPOC-SP varied from 6.04-6.43 on a seven-point scale with highest scores on the Respectful and Supportive Care subscale. Therapists' attitudes toward family-centered care correlated with attitudes toward direct intervention items (r = 0.43-0.66, p < 0.05). Child considerations were most important to therapists and administration considerations were least important when determining levels of service. Results suggest that therapists are sensitive to the needs of families and children and value parents as partners on the early intervention team. The relationship between therapists' family-centered care attitudes and intervention are consistent with a systems approach. Results on clinical decision making reflect the role of the physical therapist in early intervention and suggest a potential conflict with administrative policies when determining levels of service.
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