Self-reported measurement of heart rate and blood pressure in patients by physical therapy clinical instructors

Ethel M. Frese, Randy R. Richter, Tamara V. Burlis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Purpose. The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice (Guide) recommends that heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) measurement be included in the examination of new patients. The purpose of this study was to survey physical therapy clinical instructors to determine the frequency of HR and BP measurement in new patients and in patients already on the physical therapists' caseload. The use of information obtained from HR and BP measures in decision making for patient care and the effects of practice setting and academic preparation on the measurement and use of HR and BP also were examined. Subjects and Methods. A sample of 597 subjects was selected from a list of 2,663 clinical instructors at the clinical education sites of the 2 participating universities. Clinical instructors from a variety of practice settings were surveyed. A 26-item survey questionnaire was mailed to the clinical instructors. Results. Usable survey questionnaires were received from 387 respondents (64.8%); 43.4% reported working in an outpatient facility. The majority of the respondents strongly agreed or agreed (59.5%) that measurement of HR and BP should be included in physical therapy screening. When asked if routinely measuring HR and BP during clinical practice is essential, opinions were nearly split (strongly agree or agree=45.0%, strongly disagree or disagree=43.7%, no opinion=11.3%). More than one third (38.0%) of the respondents reported never measuring HR in the week before the survey as part of their examination of new patients. A slightly larger percentage (43.0%) reported never measuring BP of new patients in the week before the survey. Conversely, 6.0% and 4.4% of the respondents reported always measuring HR and BP, respectively, of new patients in the week before the survey. When given a list of reasons why HR and BP were not routinely measured in their clinical practice, respondents most frequently chose "not important for my patient population" (52.3%). Relationships were found between practice setting and frequency of HR and BP measurement in new patients. Discussion and Conclusion. Practices related to HR and BP measurement reported by this sample of clinical instructors do not meet the recommendations for physical therapy care described in the Guide. Frese EM, Richter RR, Burlis TV. Self-reported measurement of heart rate and blood pressure in patients by physical therapy clinical instructors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1192-1200
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical therapy
Volume82
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

Keywords

  • Blood pressure
  • Clinical instructor
  • Heart rate
  • Measurement
  • Survey

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