Parent Perspectives of Occupational Therapy Assessment Reports

Elizabeth Makepeace

 Purpose: To determine what parents view as important, relevant and understandable in occupational therapy assessment reports and explore evidence for best clinical report writing practices in pediatrics.

Methods: This qualitative study used in-depth interviews to gather parent perspectives of reports written for their children. All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. A thematic inductive approach was used to recognize patterns and themes by coding recurrent data and summarizing results.

Findings: Ten parents completed one-on-one interviews. Five key themes were identified: accurate record of assessment, answering referral queries, understanding terminology, using the report for information sharing and partnership building and being prompted to take action.

Conclusion: The results encourage therapists to include parents as the primary audience of reports, to clearly answer referral questions, and to use language and terms that are understandable. Reports must be easily shared with other stakeholders and include simple, age-appropriate recommendations parents can implement during everyday activities.

Accepted for publication:

Makepeace, E., & Zwicker, J. G. (2014). Parent perspectives of occupational therapy assessment reports. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 77(11), 538–545. doi: 10.4276/030802214X14151078348396.