PURPOSE: The study is performed to examine the impressions of physical and occupational therapists on therapeutic engagement among their patients. Engagement in this context was defined as a patient's deliberate effort to work toward recovery by participating fully in their rehabilitation therapies. METHOD: Using a survey approach, physical and occupational therapists (N=199) from across the United States were asked about issues they have encountered in their daily practise that have acted as either barriers or facilitators of patient engagement. RESULTS: Fear of pain, depressed mood and cognitive issues were rated as the most frequently encountered barriers impacting patient engagement. Making therapy tasks meaningful and explicitly related to personal goals of the patient was the most commonly reported practise for enhancing therapeutic engagement. CONCLUSIONS: The knowledge of therapists gained from day-to-day experience with patients in rehabilitation can be of use to other rehabilitation professionals in treating patients who are difficult to engage in the rehabilitation process.
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