Patient-Client Management Model


Physical therapy applies disablement models to clinical practice. By placing the patient at the center of the process, the PT team is always aware that the goals are individualized for each participant.

Physical therapy evaluation and treatment is illustrated and described as the Patient-Client Management Model. Take a moment to review the pathway, starting with examination and read the descriptions of each activity in the client management process.

Screencast summary of Patient-Client Management Model

After completing an examination, evaluating the data and selecting a diagnosis, the PT will develop a plan of care which includes the goals for treatment. It is in the plan of care where the PT selects appropriate interventions to facilitate progress toward patient goals. The PT will delegate appropriate interventions to the PTA and the PTA communicates treatment outcomes and/or any barriers to treatment to the physical therapist.

The plan of care is the road map for the PTA. It is often abbreviated POC. The POC will stipulate the number of visits, how many times a day/week a patient will receive PT, and the types of interventions which will be applied to reach goals.

Key Points

The examination, evaluation, diagnosis and prognosis are the sole responsibility of the physical therapist.

PTs and PTAs provide skilled interventions and document treatment outcomes.


Let's try and simplify major components of a physical therapy examination. Elements of the Physical Therapy Examination - BSAP


Includes patient history, time lines, mechanisms of injury, impairment, functional loss, comorbidities (other disease/health conditions), previous treatment and treatment results, etc).
Home design and assistance available, work/home demands, supportive and/or adaptive equipment, other potential barriers to care/progress, etc.
Physical therapist's opinion of primary and secondary impairment, dysfunction, and/or disability, goals for treatment, prognosis for physical therapy treatment
Includes frequency and duration of PT interventions to reach PT goals, discharge needs and follow-up referrals or testing.

 Hyperlink to Crossword Activity 

 Toggle open/close quiz question

Value: 1

 Toggle open/close quiz question

Value: 4
Match the items.
The task is to match the lettered items with the correct numbered items. Appearing below is a list of lettered items. Following that is a list of numbered items. Each numbered item is followed by a drop-down. Select the letter in the drop down that best matches the numbered item with the lettered alternatives.
a. background
b. plan
c. situation
d. assessment



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