Abstract

Occupational therapists interested in physical disabilities practice (N = 629) responded to a questionnaire regarding their use of, training in, and opinions on physical agent modalities. Therapists in hand rehabilitation were the most frequent users of these modalities. Of the listed modalities, the most frequently used was hot and cold packs; the least used was ultrasound. The modalities used most frequently were typically performed without assistance, whereas those used less frequently were more likely to be performed with the assistance of a physical therapist. The most common educational experience for physical agent modality use was on-the-job training. Therapists who provided direct care were more positive about the use of these modalities in occupational therapy practice than were those who acted primarily as administrators, fieldwork educators, or supervisors. Respondents who specialized in hand therapy viewed modalities in a more positive light than did therapists in other areas of physical disabilities practice.

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