Research Article  |   January 2013
Safe-Patient-Handling Equipment in Therapy Practice: Implications for Rehabilitation
Author Affiliations
  • Amy R. Darragh, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Division, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences The Ohio State University, 453 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210; Darragh.6@osu.edu
  • Marc A. Campo, PhD, PT, is Professor, Physical Therapy Program, Division of Health Professions, Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY
  • Lenore Frost, PhD, OTR/L, CHT, is Clinical Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Department, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT
  • Melissa Miller, MOT, is Occupational Therapist, Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, OH
  • Marissa Pentico, MS, OT/L, is Ergonomics Coordinator, Duke Occupational and Environmental Safety Office, Duke University and Health System, Durham, NC
  • Heather Margulis, MSPT, is Associate Director of Rehabilitation Services, Hebrew Senior Life, Boston
Article Information
Obesity / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation
Research Article   |   January 2013
Safe-Patient-Handling Equipment in Therapy Practice: Implications for Rehabilitation
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2013, Vol. 67, 45-53. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.005389
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2013, Vol. 67, 45-53. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.005389
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. To determine how safe-patient-handling (SPH) equipment is used in rehabilitation and how it affects therapists, patients, and therapy practice.

METHOD. We used a qualitative, instrumental case study design. Thirty-five occupational and physical therapist practitioners from three facilities participated in the study.

RESULTS. Therapists reported a broad range of applications for equipment (e.g., functional mobility and neuromusculoskeletal function). They reported that SPH equipment increased treatment options for therapists and increased participation options for patients, although equipment limitations exist. Three themes emerged from the analysis: choice, potential, and safety.

CONCLUSION. SPH equipment has therapeutic applications in rehabilitation, especially for medically complex or bariatric patients. Therapists in this study engaged in a highly individualized, complex process of decision making when selecting and using SPH devices in rehabilitation. More research to refine and test therapeutic uses is necessary.