Post-stroke ankle-foot orthoses: Examining referral trends in the Scottish multi-disciplinary team.
Morrow E., Bowers R.
PURPOSE: As per the Best Practice Statement: Use of Ankle-Foot Orthoses Following Stroke (BPS), members of the stroke multidisciplinary team should refer stroke patients with mobility problems to orthotics. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to (1) assess awareness of the BPS; (2) assess referral patterns and trends; and (3) identify barriers to referral to the Orthotic Service in Scotland. METHODS: An online survey of the stroke MDT, working in Scotland, whose current role involves work with stroke patients. A survey was distributed via the Scottish Stroke Allied Health Professionals Forum, Scottish Stroke Nurses Forum, British Association of Stroke Physicians, and Scottish Stroke Managed Clinical Networks. RESULTS: Statistically significant association was found between: Awareness of BPS and NHS Board Area; Profession and whether clinicians have referred to orthotics; Confidence in assessment criteria and profession; Referral to departments other than Orthotics and profession. CONCLUSION: Physiotherapists are relied upon by members of the Stroke MDT to identify mobility problems and refer to Orthotics. The BPS should be re-disseminated, particularly to the East of Scotland and GPs, to improve awareness of referral criteria. Reduced waiting list times and joint physiotherapist-orthotist clinics may reduce referral barriers to the Orthotic Service.