Objectives. Motivation is an important factor in and predictor of a person’s recovery from illness, yet no information exists about how occupational therapists actually evaluate patient motivation in clinical practice. This article describes a pilot study of how occupational therapists in physical disabilities settings evaluate patient motivation.

Method. A sample of 150 fieldwork coordinators in physical disabilities treatment centers were surveyed about whether they evaluate patient motivation and about the methods they used to evaluate patient motivation.

Results. Most respondents reported that they evaluate motivation informally and throughout treatment. Respondents evaluate motivation mostly via general discussion, observation of patient conduct and actions, and information from others. Less than one third discussed interests and goals with patients to evaluate motivation. Despite questionable methods of evaluation of motivation, a majority of respondents reported that their evaluation influences their treatment approaches and improves treatment outcomes.

Conclusion. Instruction about the definition and evaluation of motivation may increase the frequency of motivation evaluation in occupational therapy.

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