Date Presented 04/20/2023

The goals of this study were to ascertain data from health care providers who work closely with OTs, discover the frequency of their referrals to OT, and educate health care professional understanding of OT’s scope of practice in clients after concussion.

Primary Author and Speaker: Shannon Strate

Contributing Authors: Paul Ullucci Jr.

A wide range of healthcare professionals assist in recovery following concussion, including occupational therapists. An online survey was distributed through 8 medical professional associations’ email lists in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to assess current practice trends in concussion management. Two hundred sixty-five healthcare professionals completed the survey, which included 8 questions directly related to referrals to occupational therapy (OT) and OT’s scope of practice. The survey results showed a surprising number of healthcare professionals unaware of the role OTs have in concussion management and OT scope of practice. Greater than 23% of medical doctors and 25% of DOs and Chiropractors have never referred to OT. The results of this survey indicated that participating healthcare professionals do make referrals to OTs, even so, there was a statistically significant (p < 0.01) number of healthcare providers that do not make referrals to OT. The collaboration of a multi-disciplinary team is imperative for optimal recovery following a concussion. This survey demonstrates that healthcare professionals do not refer concussed clients for OT services and are unaware of OT’s scope of practice at all levels. The data provides evidence for the urgent need of continuing education to other healthcare professionals as to the role of OTs in concussion care as well as the full spectrum of OT scope of practice. In today’s multi-disciplinary healthcare environment, it is critical for other healthcare professionals to understand the scope of practice and capabilities of today’s modern OTs. This interprofessional survey provides evidence for building CEU courses on multi-disciplinary education providing the attendees accurate and precise information on occupational therapy.


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