Patient Handling Methods Taught in Occupational Therapy Curricula

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American Journal of Occupational Therapy

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Sixteen of 100 full-time occupational therapists are injured while performing manual patient handling techniques. We developed a Theory of Planned Behavior self-report questionnaire to determine what educators teach and the behavioral constructs that best predict intention to change curriculum content. Traditional manual patient handling and safe patient handling methods were investigated. The results showed that both methods are taught in most programs; however, only 22% stated that they teach safe patient handling as the standard of practice. Stepwise regression analysis demonstrated that attitude and perceived behavioral control are the best predictors of intention to continue teaching manual transfers as the standard; however, normative belief and attitude best predict intention to teach safe patient handling as the standard. Knowing these predictors will assist in developing strategies to promote a paradigm shift in the way patient transfers are taught.