Assessment of clients with cognitive impairments: A survey of Norwegian occupational therapists in municipal practice
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background: With the Coordination Reform Act initiated in 2012, Norwegian occupational therapists in municipal practice have been given responsibilities concerning clients with cognitive impairments. With emphasis on supporting best practice, the aim was to investigate the practice of Norwegian municipal occupational therapists (OTs) in their assessment of clients with cognitive impairments. Method: An online questionnaire was used to collect data from 497 of 1367 OTs in Norwegian municipalities (RR = 36%) Results: The most frequently used methods were informal interviews (91%), observations (91%) and standardized assessments (73%). The most frequently used standardized assessments were the Clock Drawing test (60%) and the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE 59%). The most common reasons for using standardized assessments were to get a better foundation for initiating interventions (74%), to get more reliable results (64%) and to measure the effect of interventions (47%). The most common reasons for not using standardized assessments were that they did not have competence (49%) or that they did not have access to the materials (40%). Conclusion: The results indicate that there are challenges when it comes to the methods and standardized assessments used. These findings invite further research on enabling municipal OTs to move further towards evidence-based practice.