Skip to Main Content




At the completion of this chapter, the reader will be able to:


  1. Describe the various models of disablement and their similarities and differences

  2. List the components of the examination process

  3. Conduct a thorough history

  4. Understand the importance of the systems review

  5. Describe the various components of the tests and measures portion of the examination

  6. Discuss the importance of the physical therapy evaluation

  7. Describe the purposes of documentation and the different types of documentation

  8. Have an understanding of the common medical abbreviations used in healthcare

  9. Describe the difference between short-term and long-term goals

  10. Describe the components and importance of patient/family/client-related instruction

  11. Discuss various strategies to improve patient adherence and compliance

  12. Understand the importance of the physical therapist's role in the promotion of health, wellness, and physical fitness




A profession's scope of practice is directly dependent on the education and skill of the provider, the established history of the practice scope within the profession, supporting evidence, and the regulatory environment.1 For the physical therapist, the profession has outlined the following six steps involved in the management of a typical patient/client2: (1) examination of the patient; (2) evaluation of the data and identification of problems; (3) determination of the diagnosis; (4) determination of the prognosis and plan of care (POC); (5) implementation of the POC; and (6) reexamination of the patient and evaluation of treatment outcomes (Figure 5-1). Through accomplishment of this process, the physical therapist determines whether physical therapy services are needed and develops the plan of care in collaboration with the patient/client/caregiver.


Elements of patient management leading to optimal outcomes

Graphic Jump Location



The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, 2nd Edition (The Guide), promotes the practice of physical therapy based on a disablement model. A number of theoretical frameworks, or disablement models, have been proposed to describe the path from disease to disability (Table 5-1).3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 A disablement model is designed to detail the functional consequences and relationships of disease, impairment, and functional limitations. The Guide10 employs an expanded version of the terminology from the Nagi disablement model (see Table 5-1),6 but also uses components from other disablement models.11 For example, The National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) devised a modification to Nagi's model by adding a fifth concept, that of societal limitation (see Table 5-1). In 1980 the Executive Board of the World Health Organization published a document for trial purposes, the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICFDH-I or ICF) (see Table 5-1). In 2001, a revised edition was published (ICFDH-II) that emphasized "components of health" rather than "consequences of disease" (i.e., participation rather than disability) and ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.


About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessPhysiotherapy Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessPhysiotherapy content and resources including interactive NPTE review, more than 500 videos, Anatomy & Physiology Revealed, 20+ leading textbooks, and more.

$595 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessPhysiotherapy

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.