Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Seating Assessment Form
As part of our recent seating assessment webinar series, we were excited to release our seating assessment form for prescribing therapists as both electronic fillable and print versions. This assessment form was developed in response to multiple requests from therapists and service providers.
Due to the wide variety of our end user seating needs, we have tried to make it as holistic as possible. As such, therapists working with more complex needs may need to add additional information and those working with less complex needs may opt to use only certain portions.
Likewise, if you are working with specific populations you may want to add some more specific questions into your assessment process. If you missed our seating assessment series repeats and would like to view those webinars, don’t fret! Just send us an email to express interest for a repeat of this series again at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior to a Seating Assessment
A well-structured and completed seating assessment along with a MAT evaluation can lead to better and more timely outcomes for end users. Being prepared before you book a seating assessment can assist you with the process from start to finish. What is the referral for? Does the end user meet the eligibility criteria for the local funding source? As a prescribing therapist, would this referral be within your scope of practice? Do you have the skills to take it on? If not, have you identified appropriate supervision and mentoring to support the process?
These are some of the initial questions we need to be asking when a client is referred to us. This may require further communication with the referrer or with the end user. Add as much information from the referral into the form before you go to the trial and be sure to confirm with the user if it’s correct. This will assist in you being more conscious of the clients’ needs and the types of questions you can ask to ensure you are getting the appropriate information.
Historical knowledge and the Interview
As with any assessment we need to be documenting the information we gather and remember that it contains sensitive and private data. Systematic documentation within an assessment not only assists with the clinical reasoning process but is also crucial information when it comes to writing the justification and articulating your clinical reasoning.
With the vast amount of information we use in the clinical reasoning process, an assessment form can assist in gathering the information you need when you come to identifying potential trial options and writing the funding justification. You don’t always have to ask the same questions or all of the questions. An assessment form can also cue you about additional information that could be important and relevant to the clinical reasoning process.
The Seating Assessment
Our seating assessment form uses the ICF model criteria to enable a holistic overview of the users needs. It is important to gain rapport and trust as an assessor and to work with the end user and their supports to get best outcomes. What is the user’s mobility goals? Postural Goals? Functional goals? What can they achieve with current equipment, what can they not do now that they want to be able to do in their next chair?
Documentation including measurements of current seating setup and mobility base can also assist in both the funding application and in identification of potential trial option configurations.
The Mechanical Assessment Tool is a crucial part of the seating assessment process as it identifies the capacity of positioning based on bio-mechanical and physiological principles. For more information on the MAT you can check out our previous blog on MAT assessment or contact us at Education.email@example.com especially if you’re interested in our ongoing MAT training opportunities.
Bringing it all together
Your seating and mobility assessment should guide you through the process and collect information that leads you to potential product parameters for your clients. Once identified, these parameters can be used to identify potential trial options. Sometimes we can rule out certain products based on the assessment and needs but the only way we can ensure a solution will meet a user’s needs is to complete a trial.
Ideally, a trial should always be completed within the environment of intended use. Make the most of the trial opportunities. If you are adding a specific feature to a chair because you think the user would benefit from it, then include the task in the trial and document how the task is now achievable.
When you attend the trial remember to review the assessment info before you go or better yet, have it with you so you can check that the configuration matches what you identified and document any crucial changes based on the trial. With these tips in mind, a seating assessment can be both thorough and practical!
Our education team is always available to discuss clinical matters and potential options to support you through the process, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
Clinical Education Specialist