Diagnosis and treatment in physical therapy: An investigation of their relationship

J. Dekker, M. E. Van Baar, E. C. Curfs, J. J. Kerssens, A. A. Guccione, S. Sahrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose. The diagnosis made by a physical therapist gives direction to the selection of therapeutic interventions. Therefore, in an investigation, specific relationships between diagnoses and therapeutic interventions are expected. This study was designed to test whether such relationships exist. Subjects and Methods. Data on diagnosis, treatment goals, and interventions were gathered on 8,714 patients by 74 physical therapists. The diagnosis and treatment goals were defined in terms of impairments and disabilities. Results. Specific relationships were found to exist between those impairments and disabilities that were chosen as a basis for forming treatment goals and the application of interventions. These relationships are particularly marked at the impairment level. Conclusion and Discussion. It is concluded that the diagnostic categories validly predict which interventions are applied and that the selection of interventions depends on which treatment goals are pursued.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-580
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


  • Classification
  • Diagnosis
  • Intervention
  • Physical therapy
  • Survey research


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